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COVID-19 updates: Browns get back 3 players for Steelers game

Browns linebacker Malcolm Smith drops into pass coverage.
Browns linebacker Malcolm Smith, dropping into pass coverage during a recent game, is off the COVID-19 list and will play Sunday against the Steelers.
(Adam Hunger / Associated Press)

The Cleveland Browns finally caught a break when safety Ronnie Harrison, tight end Harrison Bryant and linebacker Malcolm Smith were activated from the COVID-19 list and can play in Sunday night’s wild-card game against the Steelers at Pittsburgh.

The hard-hitting Harrison’s return helps a depleted Cleveland secondary missing cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson, who remain on the COVID-19 list and will not play.

Ward is the Browns’ best defensive back and his absence hurts as he would have been assigned to cover Juju Smith-Schuster or Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh’s top deep threats.

The sixth-seeded Browns (11-5) will make their first playoff appearance since the 2002 season short-handed.

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First-year coach Kevin Stefanski and Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio tested positive this week and cannot take part in the game because league rules require anyone testing positive to isolate for 10 days.

Coach K returns for Duke

Duke says Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski will return to the sideline Saturday for the 21st-ranked Blue Devils’ game against Wake Forest.

Krzyzewski missed Wednesday’s win against Boston College while completing a COVID-19 quarantine protocol.

Breaking down the on-field matchups for Saturday’s NFC wild-card playoff game between the Rams and Seattle Seahawks.

The 73-year-old coach said earlier this week e and his wife were placed into quarantine after a family member tested positive for COVID-19. He said they had both tested negative to that point.

Associate head coach Jon Scheyer led the Blue Devils on the sideline during the BC win.

Etc.

Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles will be in the starting lineup for the FA Cup match against Arsenal on Saturday, after about six weeks on the sidelines with a bad case of COVID-19. … A third United Arab Emirates cricket player has tested positive for the coronavirus and forced the scheduled one-day international against Ireland in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to be postponed to next Saturday.


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