The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.
Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.
As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion
Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Is the Steelers’ Covid-19 situation a bigger threat to Tuesday’s game being played than the Ravens’?
As the Ravens continue to place more and more players on the Reserve/Covid-19 List, with more than a dozen players at least having tested positive and more as close contacts, the Steelers are now dealing with a situation of their own, the details of which we don’t fully yet know.
To date, the team has placed four players on the Reserve/Covid-19 List, but we only have confirmation about the status of one of them, that being running back James Conner. We do not know if the other three have tested positive or not. Reportedly, quarterbacks coach Matt Canada and special teams coordinator Danny Smith also tested positive.
As of this writing (which was before midnight), we do not currently know if there are more positive tests coming in. By the time this runs, the Steelers will have received the PCR tests from yesterday morning and will know. Whether or not it will be public knowledge by then is another question.
The Steelers last practiced on Wednesday. However, it is not known if anybody was in the building on Friday before the postponement announcement came, as Mike Tomlin was reserving a decision about whether or not to hold practice based on that.
If there were players in the building as recently as Friday, then we could have a real mess on our hands that forces the league to do what it has done so much to try to avoid, which is to push the game to an 18th week.