After giving his team the past three days off, Mike Tomlin and the Steelers were back on the practice field on Sunday in preparation for Tuesday night's game against the Ravens. Tomlin said that Sunday's practice mimicked what the team usually does on Friday, as the Steelers were forced to adjust their practice schedule after the NFL rescheduled their game with Baltimore two different times.
Tomlin said on Sunday that the Steelers have no more positive cases after placing defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs, Stephon Tuitt, offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins and running back James Conner on the team's reserve/COVID-19 list over the past two days. Tomlin said that, with Conner out, second-year running back Benny Snell will be the Steelers' featured back against the Ravens. The team's second-leading rusher, Snell rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries against Baltimore in Week 17 of the 2019 season. The running game will likely play a significant factor on Tuesday night, as Pittsburgh is projected to get two-three inches of snow on Monday.
While Tuesday's game will be uncharted territory for most of the Steelers, several of Pittsburgh's players have extensive experience playing football on Tuesday.
"Our MAC guys are excited about playing on a Tuesday night," Tomlin said while making a reference to his highly publicized comments about the Mid-American Conference earlier this month, via Missi Matthews of Steelers.com. The Steelers have a league-high five former MAC players on their roster in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, receiver Diontae Johnson, offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor and linebackers Jayrone Elliott and Ola Adeniyi.
While Pittsburgh will be without several players on Tuesday night, it pales in comparison to the Ravens' current situation. As of Sunday morning, at least 11 Ravens players and eight members of Baltimore's staff had tested positive for COVID-19. Among the Ravens' players who won't play on Tuesday night include quarterback Lamar Jackson, running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins, offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura and defensive linemen Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams and Justin Madubuike.
The Ravens, 6-4 after losing three out of their last four games, need a win on Tuesday night to say on the inside track of the AFC playoff race. The Steelers, who at 10-0 are off to their best start in franchise history, are looking to stay ahead of the Chiefs in the race for the AFC's No. 1 seed.