HC Kevin Stefanski (11.13.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“You have the injury report. We will list (LB) Jacob Phillips as questionable. (CB) Denzel Ward and (LB Sione) Takitaki were not out there. We could not get them cleared fast enough as close contacts, but we will have them in the building tomorrow.”


On RB Nick Chubb’s and G Wyatt Teller’s status for Sunday: 

“Teller is not on the injury report. I do not think we listed him as anything so he is ready to go. Nick, I still want to huddle up with Nick, the coaches, (Senior Vice President of Player Health and Development) Joe Sheehan and the medical staff to make a determination. Have not had a chance to do that just yet. Just walked off the field.”


On talking through the experience today after learning a player tested positive for COVID-19: 

“We just try to follow all the protocols to a T. We met virtually this morning, which we were doing already. We just basically had to push back the day a little bit. Obviously, every single day, it is part of how we operate. I think also a big part of this is not having any high-risk close contact is really a main goal of ours today and moving forward every day. It is something we take very seriously.”


On if the Browns had contingency plans in place for situations like today: 

“You have to. This is 2020. Things are going come your way, and you have to react. I think our team is used to that. Like you said, we got our work in and got all the reps we were supposed to get. It just was a little bit darker out there.”


On if the Browns being in the NFL-NFLPA intensive protocols this week were a factor for the team not having additional players placed on reserve/COVID-19 due to close contacts and if that is fortunate timing: 

“I think that is one way to look at it. I also think regardless of the intensive protocols, we have moved to virtual for all of our meetings. The mask wearing is mandatory, like it is in every building. We have tried to go above and beyond the protocols, and I think that is really where you need to be in this environment.”


On if C JC Tretter as NFLPA President helps ‘keep an eye on things’ for COVID-19 protocols or if Tretter ‘is just a center’ in his mind: 

“I do not want to say he is ‘just a center’ – he is also a husband and a soon-to-be father. No, I am just kidding (laughter). Yeah, I think JC is a big help for us when it comes to all of this, honestly – a lot of conversations over the months with JC and getting his insight into this because he has a unique perspective. Yeah, I lean on him a lot.”


On if he feels fortunate there were not any high-risk close contacts and the level of concern that something else could come up before Sunday: 

“I think we just have to maintain the diligence that the organization has shown throughout. This is no different than all of the other 31 teams are dealing with things like this and trying to follow the protocols. That is kind of how we take it day by day and make sure we are doing everything we can to keep everybody safe.”


On if the practice disruption during training camp helped when dealing with today’s situation: 

“I do not know. That was so long ago. I just know we have changed the schedule on our players about 500 times so they roll with the punches. They know that is kind of how things go.”


On why Takitaki and Ward were not cleared in time for practice: 

“Ultimately, they were cleared, but yeah, it was a proximity thing. After working with the league and the third party that investigates these types of things, everybody followed the rules.”


On if anything has occurred this week that gave the Browns additional pause as to whether or not Chubb should be activated this week

“No. To answer that, though, I should say no, but we are going to do what is best for Nick and best for the Browns.”


On if Chubb made the type of progress the Browns hoped to see this week in practice and what needs to occur before the team activates Chubb:

“Like you said, we wanted to use each one of these days and see how he responded each day. He hit all of the benchmarks. It is just a matter of making sure we are all on the same page and making sure that he is ready to go. If he is ready, he will be out there. If we feel like he is not ready this week, we will make that decision.”


On if he has a ‘gut feeling’ on if Chubb will be available on Sunday:

“No. The reason I say that is I just have not had a chance to sit down with (Senior Vice President of Player Health & Development Joe (Sheehan), Nick and the coaches. I will let that conversation happen first.”


On if the schedule changes today affected the energy at practice: 

“It did not affect the energy. I thought the guys did a great job. I think they were locked in and they were probably sick and tired of sitting around all day.”


On if the weather will have an impact on whether Chubb will play on Sunday: 

“I do not think so, no.”


On the Browns’ sixth man on the OL, given T Chris Hubbard will be unavailable: 

“I think we will be covered with (T) Kendall Lamm and with (C) Nick Harris. I think we will be OK.”


On the evaluation of Teller following this week of practice: 

“He practiced well this week. Then it is a matter of going out playing a full four quarters worth. He looked like Wyatt Teller at practice and then we get to get him out there on Sunday, and he has to do the same.”


On if Teller was a full participant in practice today: 

“I think so.”


On most of the public attention being focused on Texans QB Deshaun Watson, Texans WRs Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller V and the Texans WRs despite the Texans offense seeming to be well balanced:

“Yeah, I think you mentioned it, their whole receiving core, (Texans WR Randall) Cobb and the tight ends are all big, big players that are physical in the run game and able to get open in the pass game. I think we will see obviously a lot of (Texans RB) Duke Johnson (Jr.), but I think it the whole is really impressive. They are able to play multiple personnel groups because of their depth there.”


On if there anything more that the Browns can ask of DE Myles Garrett after Garrett’s strong first half of the season:

“We have talked about this before, we expect a lot from him, and he is well aware of that. I expect him to keep working and keep grinding. He is going to get a ton of attention on Sunday and every game here on out, but we have high expectations for him and I believe Myles also has high expectations of himself.”


# # #