Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin celebrates as he walks off the field following a win over the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL football game,
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t add any players to the team’s expanding reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday, but coach Mike Tomlin isn’t exactly ready to say Tuesday night’s rescheduled visit by Baltimore is a go.
“I don’t know that I can say I’m confident of anything in this environment,” Tomlin said. “I got great news today that we had no new positives … (but) it’s a sensitive situation … you talk about degrees of confidence and things of that nature, it’s a slippery slope.”
The Steelers (10-0) were supposed to host the Ravens (6-4) on Thanksgiving. A COVID-19 outbreak in Baltimore initially led the NFL to push the game to Sunday. When positive tests among the Ravens continued to pile up, the league postponed it until Tuesday. It’s still on … for now.
While Tomlin has constantly praised his team’s diligence to the league’s COVID-19 protocols, Pittsburgh has not been immune. The team has placed four players on the reserve/COVID-19 list since Thursday, a group that includes leading rusher James Conner and defensive end Stephon Tuitt. Two coaches — special teams coordinator Danny Smith and quarterbacks coach Matt Canada — will also be unavailable should the Steelers end up playing on Tuesday due to what the team called an “illness.”
Tomlin shrugged off the suggestion that what is happening to the Steeler’s and Ravens should serve as a message to the rest of the league as winter looms and cases across the world let alone the NFL skyrocket.
“We don’t need cautionary tales,” Tomlin said. “We’ve been living this every day. We’ve been tested daily since July 20th. … We have taken this very seriously, it’s just confirmation of what we already know.”
Maybe, but several players took to social media after the initial postponement from Thursday to Sunday to voice their displeasure. Defensive tackle and longtime captain Cameron Heyward called it a natural reaction.