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2021 South Side Questions: Will Adams COVID Case Be A One-Off?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.

They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom are starting.

There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. Even if they play them poorly. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.

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. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.

Question: Will Montravius Adams be a one-off COVID-19 scare?

The NFL has seen more than 90 players, roughly 30 or more per day, test positive for COVID-19 over the course of just the last three days. The Steelers were among the vast majority of the league—by my count, 26 teams, pending yesterday’s results—who have added a player to the Reserve/COVID-19 List in that span.

That was their new defensive tackle Montravius Adams, and given the in-facility spread that we’re now seeing in several different organizations, including the Cleveland Browns, it is natural to wonder whether or not there is reason to be concerned.

Adams is actually the second player the team has added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list this week, as they also sent a defensive back on the practice squad there on Monday. Chances are good, however, that their positives are unrelated.

League sources indicated yesterday that some of the spread that they are now seeing is actually due to the Omicron variant, which appears to be more contagious but also less dangerous. The vast majority of positive-tested players have reported no symptoms.

As the rules currently stand, however, it’s still very difficult for even a fully vaccinated player to play in the same week in which he tests positive. That alone is reason to have some level of concern over whether or not the Steelers will have more positives to deal with over the next several days.

Of course, health and safety come first, and only a very small handful of NFL players since the pandemic began have had serious symptoms, which is good news. But we want these guys on the field, too.

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