PITTSBURGH – The undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers placed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and three other players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team said Monday.
Roethlisberger, offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins, running back Jaylen Samuels and linebacker Vince Williams were added to the list, WPXI reported. The four players were determined to be high-risk, close contacts with tight end Vance McDonald, who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Roethlisberger and his teammates must isolate for five days after their last contact with McDonald, ESPN reported. According to WPXI, McDonald traveled with the Steelers for last Sunday’s game in Dallas despite missing Friday’s practice with an illness designation.
The players will not be allowed to enter the UPMC Rooney practice facility for at least five days, but will be allowed to participate virtually in team meetings, according to ESPN.
The Steelers (8-0), the only remaining unbeaten team this year in the NFL, are scheduled to host Cincinnati on Sunday. The Bengals already have five players on its reserve/COVID-19 list, WPXI reported.
If the sidelined players’ tests come back negative, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin believes everyone except McDonald will be available to play Sunday.
“Our attitudes will really define our level of success in dealing with this,” Tomlin said at his weekly news conference Tuesday.
“We need to be cautious, be careful and protect each other,” Roethlisberger told ESPN in October. “New challenges arise this week with fans being allowed in the game now. Fans are allowed in the stadium, which means we’re allowed to have guests in town and things like that. In the Roethlisberger family, we’re not changing anything. No guests are coming in town. But there are a few challenges that have been presented and so hopefully guys can continue to be as cautious and as careful as we have been to this point.”
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