By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed four more players on their Reserve/COVID-19 list including Ben Roethlisberger.
“We’ve been dealing with COVID significantly this week,” Head Coach Mike Tomlin said at a press conference Tuesday.
Roethlisberger along with Jerald Hawkins, Jaylen Samuels and Vince Williams will need to isolate for five days and pass coronavirus tests throughout the week in order to be considered to play against the Cincinnati Bengals next weekend.
They will only be allowed to attend virtual meetings and must stay away from the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. Tomlin says all meetings will be done remotely this week and the four players added today will be working from home and will “sharpen their swords in that way.”
The rest of the team will only come into the building for practice and will work out in groups.
In a statement posted to their website Tuesday morning, the team says:
“The four players include quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins, running back Jaylen Samuels and linebacker Vince Williams. All will be isolated for five days and are not permitted in the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
“The players will need to pass COVID-19 tests throughout the week before they before they are potentially eligible to play against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The players are permitted to take part in virtual meetings.
“The team placed tight end Vance McDonald on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday evening.”
We have placed QB Ben Roethlisberger, OL Jerald Hawkins, RB Jaylen Samuels, and LB Vince Williams on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.https://t.co/slWaWb7gnf
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 10, 2020
Tight end Vance McDonald was placed on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list Monday afternoon.
Roethlisberger and the other teammates were deemed to have “high risk” close contact with McDonald. They’re eligible to return to the facility Saturday, provided they test negative and have no symptoms.
“We are working our tails off to adhere to protocols,” says Tomlin, adding that masks were worn on team planes 100% of the time.
Tomlin says the player who tested positive is resting at home, and the other four are isolating “because of contact.” As the week goes on, Tomlin says the team is hoping for more clarity on those four players.
He says he’s not getting “into any declarations on positive or negative tests.” If Roethlisberger can’t play, Tomlin says “we’re going to work both young quarterbacks this week” and “Mason Rudolph is going to get the bulk of the work.”
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Steelers fans say the news is concerning but they’re not giving up hope. Their focus is squarely on Sunday’s game against the Bengals, which was moved from 1 p.m. to 4:25 p.m.
“That’s really terrifying because Pittsburgh is doing so well,” said Charles Cumberledge.
“I’m glad that they’re being so cautious about it. I would really hate to see something jeopardize the season, as a whole, if we are doing so good,” said Dan Robinson.
Some fans say Big Ben or not, they’re confident the Steelers will get a win on Sunday.
“I’m afraid if we don’t have Ben play, but I believe in our team. I think we can do a good job. Somebody will step up like they always do,” said Debbie Malizio.