The Steelers have placed starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the COVID-19 reserve list, among four players that were added, likely as close contacts of confirmed positive case Vance McDonald, who was placed on the list Monday.
The other players added to the list are tackle Jerald Hawkins, running back Jaylen Samuels and inside linebacker Vince Williams.
The four players will not be permitted to practice with the team or enter UPMC Rooney Sports Complex for the next five day, regardless of whether or not they test positive for COVID-19, due to their status as close contacts of McDonald. They are permitted to attend meetings virtually. If any of the players were to become symptomatic or test positive, further contact tracing may be required.
If the players do not develop symptoms and continue to test negative, they will be able to return to play on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, though the will have to do so without a week of practice.
Roethlisberger was banged up during the team’s win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, suffered injuries to both knees, though he said after the game his knee was “fine” and did not expect to have any lingering issues.
If he’s unable to play, Mason Rudolph would once again assume the starting quarterback role. Williams will likely be replaced at practice this week by new addition Avery Williamson, who will be able to practice with the team for the first time on Wednesday after sitting out a week of practice after coming over from the New York Jets in a trade last week.