The Pittsburgh Steelers enter Week 11 with a long list of players that can be deemed questionable or worse for the team’s Sunday night road game against the Los Angeles Chargers, and on Tuesday head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the health of his 5-3-1 team during his weekly press conference.
On Tuesday, Tomlin addressed the Week 11 statuses of wide receiver Chase Claypool (toe), quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (COVID-19), safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (COVID-19), guard Kevin Dotson (ankle), guard Trai Turner (ankle), cornerback Joe Haden (foot), and outside linebacker T.J. Watt (hip/knee).
“From a health standpoint, we’re dealing with a couple of things, man, Tomlin said on Tuesday. “We’re excited about Chase Claypool working tomorrow and seeing what that work leads us in terms of him being included in this thing.”
Claypool missed the Steelers Sunday game with a toe injury that he suffered in Week 9.
“Some in-game injuries are probably less clear,” Tomlin said. “We’ll give Dotson an opportunity, but we don’t know where that leads in terms of his practice participation. Same for Joe Haden with his foot injury. I feel confident that Trai Turner’s going to be able to show up and I’ll always leave the light on for T.J. Watt. The things that he does routinely are not things that are done routinely by others. We’ll see where his participation leads us this week.
Tomlin also addressed Roethlisberger and Fitzpatrick both currently being on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. He started first with Roethlisberger.
“On the COVID front, Ben has an opportunity [to play on Sunday] provided he gets the required negative testing to be available to play. You guys know that we’ve been in circumstances with Ben in the past when he’s been less than available during the course of the week.”
So, while it sounds like Roethlisberger has a chance to play Sunday night against the Chargers, Tomlin made it pretty clear on Tuesday that he expects Fitzpatrick to miss the Week 11 Sunday night game.
“Minkah’s in the protocol,” Tomlin said. “We don’t anticipate him coming back [in time for Sunday’s game.]”
So, to recap, it sounds like Turner and Claypool have better than average chances of playing on Sunday, and possibly Roethlisberger as well. Fitzpatrick isn’t likely to play, and Dotson, Haden and Watt are all likely viewed as being highly questionable to start the week.