After placing three players on the reserve/COVID list on Friday, the Pittsburgh Steelers are teetering with an outbreak of their own. On Saturday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that another player and coach have tested positive for the coronavirus. The player, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network, is starting running back James Conner. He is currently awaiting a second test tomorrow to confirm his results as contact tracking continues throughout the organization.
Per Schefter, there are also said to be multiple contacts, which indicates more players could eventually find themselves on the reserve list. Defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs, offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins, and defensive end Stephon Tuitt were the players that the Steelers initially placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday. Head coach Mike Tomlin did give the team Friday off, but it remains to be seen how much that may have limited a spread throughout the team.
This all comes in the aftermath of Pittsburgh's Thanksgiving matchup with the Ravens being rescheduled twice due to an outbreak within Baltimore's organization. The AFC North head-to-head was originally moved to Sunday, but following even more positive COVID-19 tests, including starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, the game was pushed again, this time to Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET. Running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins were among the notable Ravens to also test positive for COVID-19 along with defensive lineman Calais Campbell and others. The Ravens also even disciplined a staff member who may have broken COVID-19 protocols in light of this outbreak on their side.
Meanwhile, the NFL sent out a memo on Friday to all 32 teams informing that clubs that the league will halt all in-person activities for Monday, Nov. 30 and Tuesday, Dec. 1 in an effort to help slow the spread of the virus following the Thanksgiving holiday. The Broncos, Colts, Rams, Browns, and Cardinals are just some of the other teams that have dealt with the virus in recent weeks as a second surge appears to be hitting a large portion of the country.