Following Saturday night’s practice, Mike Tomlin announced several players were held out of practice following concerns over their COVID test results. GM Kevin Colbert provided an update Sunday, announcing the six players held out last night are all returning to the team today.
Here is Colbert’s statement, per Steelers’ PR man Burt Lauten.
— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) August 23, 2020
“On Saturday, we had six players absent from practice due to our adherence to NFL COVID-19 protocol. None of those players were required to be placed on Reserve/COVID-19 and will be returning to meetings today and practice Monday,” his statement reads.
Here is what Tomlin said last night.
“We had a number of guys that we held out of work or missed work today because they’re caught up in COVID proceedings or procedures. No one to mention at this time in terms of being on the COVID list, but they are in the procedure and we’re going to exercise all precaution like we normally do and make sure that we adhere to it to the fullest.”
It’s unclear exactly what procedure those players were caught up in. The NFL has seen a recent surge of positive COVID cases all tracing back to one particular lab, indicating possible false positive results. The Browns reportedly had at least a dozen positives.
— Dan Labbe (@dan_labbe) August 23, 2020
It’s unclear if the Steelers were experiencing the same issue, another type of delay, or a different problem entirely.
Pittsburgh has had four players on Reserve/COVID list this season and all four were activated. The average time spent on the reserve list was around ten days.
COVID cases across the NFL have been extremely low since training camps began. The league will hope it remains that way during the regular season though as we’ve seen in baseball, numbers are likely to spike once teams begin travelling around the country.
Sunday was a scheduled off day for the team. They will return to practice Monday afternoon.