2020 South Side Questions: Will Others Join McDonald On Covid-19 List As High-Risk Close Contacts?

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: Are the Steelers going to have many additional players forced to go on the Reserve/Covid-19 List as high-risk close contacts of Vance McDonald?

As you’ve surely read by now, the Steelers just had their first player positive of the season, one of the handful of remaining teams who had yet to be directly affected by the virus on their roster. Vance McDonald tested positive on Sunday, which the team learned yesterday, after missing Friday’s practice due to ‘illness’.

At this point, and based on previous cases, it is highly likely that the Steelers will have multiple additional players added to the Reserve/Covid-19 List as early as today. Last week, after Marlon Humphrey tested positive, the Baltimore Ravens added seven additional players to their Covid-19 List because they were deemed to be high-risk close contacts of Humphrey, having spent at least 15 minutes of close contact in his presence.

It is important to note that high-risk close contacts must test negative for five consecutive days from their last contact with the positive case, and before then, they must self-quarantine. So anybody who is deemed a close contact of McDonald and placed on reserve today will have to work virtually during the week, but could be activated for a Saturday walkthrough and play in the game.

Among the Ravens who were placed on the reserve list as close contacts were Matt Judon, Patrick Queen, L.J. Fort, and DeShon Elliott. Tyus Bowser, Malik Harrison, and Terrell Bond also were placed on the list. All were cleared by Saturday after going on the list Tuesday.

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