The Pittsburgh Steelers will start Week 10 of the 2020 NFL season with five players on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list with one of them being quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Even so, Roethlisberger and three other players on that list of five, running back Jaylen Samuels, inside linebacker Vince Williams and tackle Jerald Hawkins, all have a shot at playing on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals as long as none of them test positive for the virus this week.
The Steelers also have a shot at getting three other players who have missed recent games with injuries back on Sunday as well, according to what head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday during his weekly press conference
“We’re hopeful that we’re going to get a return from a number of guys that have missed some time,” Tomlin said on Tuesday. “Mike Hilton has a chance to play this week. Derek Watt has a chance to play this week. Tyson Alualu. All have a chance to play this week. We’ll monitor them throughout the week in terms of their work and the quality of it, but we’re excited about getting those guys back into the fold if we can. We had bunch of other bumps and bruises associated with play that may limit some people from an availability standpoint at the early portions of the week, but nothing in-game that happened of any major significance in Dallas.”
That’s obviously great news as the Steelers could really use all three players, cornerback Mike Hilton (shoulder), defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (knee) and Derek Watt (hamstring), back on Sunday against the Bengals. Hilton and Watt have missed the last three games with their injuries while Alualu missed the team’s Week 9 game this past Sunday with his knee injury.
While Watt ended Week 9 not listed on the Steelers injury report, he was ultimately one of the team’s six inactive players on Sunday. Tomlin admitted on Tuesday that Watt had some sort of setback with his hamstring injury prior to the game against the Cowboys.
“Yeah, he took a step back as we got close to a game time, if you will, in terms of availability,” Tomlin said of Watt on Tuesday.
As for Roethlisberger, who reportedly suffered minor injuries to both of his knees late in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, Tomlin was asked about him on Tuesday as well.
“Ben had some bumps and bruises associated with play that happened in the first half,” Tomlin said. “He was able to come back and finish the game and finished the game.”
While part of Tomlin s response about Roethlisberger was cut off, he made it clear that the quarterback will play against the Bengals as long as he does not test positive for the virus this week.
“He is not in question,” Tomlin said.