Had the Pittsburgh Steelers played the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, it would have marked the third game this season that veteran offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski has missed while on the team’s Reserve/Injured list. In short, Wisniewski, if heathy enough to do so, would have then been eligible to return for the team’s Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, with Week 4 now being the Steelers bye week for 2020 following the postponement of their game against the Titans, the earliest that Wisniewski is now eligible to return is Week 6 against the Cleveland Browns.
The amended CBA that was agreed to this offseason to help the NFL battle issues arising from the pandemic included a new rule that players can be place on a team’s Reserve/Injured list with non-COVID-19 issues for a minimum period of time of three games. An unlimited number of players are available to be designated to return as well.
Please note that the CBA rule stipulates an Inured/Reserve player must miss three games and not three weeks. In short, that means bye weeks do not count. So, in Wisniewski’s case, the postponement of the Steelers Week 4 game against the Titans means he still needs to miss the team’s next game before being eligible to return.
In the grand scheme of things, this probably isn’t a big deal in regard of Wisniewski. After all, he might still be several weeks away from being ready to resume playing after suffering a pectoral injury in the team’s Week 1 road game against the New York Giants. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has not provided any sort of update on Wisniewski’s condition since the offensive lineman was placed on the team’s Reserve/Injured list.
With the Steelers bye week now out of the way, counting weeks missed versus games missed shouldn’t be an issue moving forward with Reserve/Injured players unless there is some sort of an additional schedule change related to additional NFL game postponements created by the ongoing pandemic.