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Detroit Lions will be without head coach due to COVID-19 protocols

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Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN ImagesBy LOUIS MILMAN, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — The Detroit Lions will be on their third head coach of the season on Saturday, after interim head coach Darrell Bevell was deemed unable to coach due to COVID-19 protocols.

Detroit is scheduled to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday. On Wednesday, the team announced that Bevell, along with several other coaches, were being kept away from the team facility due to close contacts with the virus. So far, only practice squad linebacker Anthony Pittman and a coach have tested positive.

In Bevell’s absence, wide receivers coach Robert Prince will take over the head coaching role. He will also give playcalling duties to quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan, who has never had that responsibility at any level in his career.

Bevell said that the team had contingency plans for any coach unable to be with the team on Saturday. He emphasized the importance of being able to adjust on the fly, something he says the team has already done throughout the course of this season.

The team will also have to sort out their defensive coaching situation, with coordinator Cory Undlin, defensive line coach Bo Davis, linebackers coach Ty McKenzie and defensive backs coach Steve Gregory all kept away from the team on Wednesday.

Bevell also pointed to the team’s most recent game — a road matchup against the Tennessee Titans — as a possible cause of the outbreak. Nashville has one of the highest new-case rates of COVID-19 in the country. Still, Bevell admitted, the team is not sure how anyone within the team contracted the virus.

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