The Latest: Browns, Bengals allowed 6,000 fans at 2 games

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Photo credit With no defense on the field for the drive, Cleveland Browns tight end Pharaoh Brown jokingly celebrates his touchdown catch with Jarvis Landry during the NFL football team's scrimmage Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Cleveland. (Joshua Gunter/Cleveland.com via AP)
By The Associated Press

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals will be allowed to have 6,000 fans at two home games this season.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Saturday that the teams have been granted a variance for a “two-game trial” on a state requirement limiting 1,500 people at outdoor gatherings.

The variance allows for no more than 1,500 fans in each side of the stadium. Fans will be required to wear masks throughout the games.

Cleveland will be permitted to have fans for its opener on Thursday, Sept. 17 against Cincinnati and rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. The Browns can also have fans on Sept. 27 against Washington.

The Bengals home dates are Oct. 4 against Jacksonville and Oct. 25 against the Browns.

“This year will certainly be different, but both the Browns and the Bengals have worked exceedingly hard and have made extensive preparations to welcome a limited number of fans to their stadiums safely,” DeWine said. “These very thorough plans and safety precautions warrant a two-game trial to try and accommodate fans, at reduced capacities with social distancing and masks.”

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