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: Will Vince Williams be back and ready to play in time for the Steelers’ Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals?
The Steelers really had to cobble together snaps at inside linebacker on Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills, missing Devin Bush, Robert Spillane, and Vince Williams. They’re not getting Bush back at all this year, and Spillane won’t be back through the end of the regular season.
But they can get Williams back, who missed the last game on the Reserve/Covid-19 List. He was placed on the list on December 10, so in theory, he should be eligible to be activated no later than Sunday, and possibly a day or two earlier, depending on when he tested positive.
Based on his social media postings, the veteran made it pretty clear that he not only tested positive but also experienced symptoms. The Steelers have already had a number of players who had to spend two weeks or more on the Reserve/Covid-19 List, so the 10-day window doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
Without Williams in the lineup, the Steelers had to get almost a full slate of snaps from Avery Williamson, and split up the rest of the snaps between Marcus Allen and Ulysees Gilbert III. The former was a safety as of, say, June, and the latter had only just begun practicing the week before, having been placed on the Reserve/Injured List all the way back in early November.