For the first time all season, the NFL is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak and due to that fact, the league has decided to postpone this week's game between the Steelers and the Titans. The game, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, will now be played on Monday or Tuesday.
Although Ben Roethlisberger didn't have any say in whether the game would be postponed or not, it sounds like the Steelers quarterback would have preferred that the game didn't get moved at all.
During a press conference on Wednesday that was held before the league officially announced the postponement, Roethlisberger was asked if he thought it would be fair to play on Sunday if it meant the Titans would be at a competitive disadvantage.
Due to the outbreak, the Titans won't be allowed back into their practice facility until Saturday, which means they would have only gotten one day of practice to prepare for Sunday's game. From Big Ben's point of view, that's what should have happened because teams prepared for that scenario during the offseason.
"Well, we were told during training camp that this could happen if you're not diligent, you're not careful," Roethlisberger said. "I don't know what's going on down there [In Tennessee], so I am not going to speak on them, but I'm telling you what we were told. We were told that there might be a situation that if you weren't careful and there was some COVID issues here in Pittsburgh that we might not be able to practice until Friday or Saturday. That's why they made the rule with more practice squad guys this year, so we were made aware of those possibilities."
The Titans have had a total of nine members of their organization, including four players, test positive for the virus since the start of the outbreak.
"I don't want to say it is what it is, but that's why the plan is put in place, to have guys to be prepared and why so many people -- and I know in Pittsburgh and I am sure down in Tennessee, too -- are being diligent and not going out and being reckless and being careful," Roethlisberger said. "I'm homeschooling my kids, we're not having guests over at the house. You have to do those things if you want to play the games on Sundays."
Although the Steelers had been warned that the game might be moved, he said the team went into Wednesday's practice assuming the game wouldn't be moved.
"We're preparing to play a game Sunday -- like we should be -- and they need to prepare to play the game Sunday, however they need to do it," Roethlisberger said.
Unfortunately for Roethlisberger, the Steelers are now going to have to deal with the same competitive imbalance that the Titans are going to have to deal with. If the game is moved to Tuesday, that means Pittsburgh will only have five days to prepare for their Week 5 home game against the Eagles.