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Demarcus Ayers, Terence Garvin among 6 More former Steelers in XFL Draft Pool



One day after three former Steelers were announced as part of the 2019 XFL Draft pool, another half-dozen one-time members of the Black and Gold were placed on the list

Wide receiver Demarcus Ayers (2016), tight ends Cameron Clear (2015 training camp), Micky Crum (2019 training camp), Jake McGee (2017-18) and Scott Orndoff (2017 training camp) and linebacker Terence Garvin (2013-15) were all listed in the second of five groups of potential candidates for the draft.

Ayers played for the New England Patriots and Chicago Bears in the NFL after leaving the Steelers and also suited up for the San Antonio Commanders of the AAF last spring.

Clear spent 2016 with the Indianapolis Colts and also played for the Commanders last spring.

Crum was a late addition to the Steelers training camp roster this summer.

McGee has not played since a torn Achilles’ tendon ended his 2018 season with the Steelers during OTAs.

Orndoff was with the Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars after receiving an injury settlement as a rookie with the Steelers. He played for the Orlando Apollos of the AAF last spring and was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for training camp this summer.

Garvin played for the Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers after leaving Pittsburgh. He also played for the Orlando last spring.

All eight XFL teams will fill 71 slots in a five-phased draft that will take place over two days next week. Quarterbacks, including former Steelers quarterback Landry Jones, are not a part of the draft and will be assigned to teams by the league.

On Monday, former Steelers Weslye Saunders, Al-Hajj Shabazz and Jack Tocho were announced as part of the first group of players to enter the draft pool.


Report: Steelers QB Coach Matt Canada Tested Positive for COVID-19



Steelers quarterbacks coach Matt Canada has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network.

The Steelers announced earlier on Saturday that Canada, along with special teams coordinator Danny Smith, will not coach in the team’s game against the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday due to illnesses.

Kinkhabwala reported that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is not considered a close contact of Canada’s and will not have to isolate for five days, as he did when tight end Vance McDonald tested positive earlier this season.

Smith has also tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Steelers announced that assistant wide receivers coach Blaine Stewart will replace Smith. They did not announce a replacement for Canada.

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Matt Canada, Danny Smith Will Not Coach for Steelers vs. Ravens



Steelers special teams coordinator Danny Smith and quarterbacks coach Matt Canada will not participate in the team’s game Tuesday night against the Baltimore Ravens, the team announced on Saturday.

The Steelers said both coaches will not participate due to illness. Smith has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by the Post-Gazette.

Smith will be replaced by assistant wide receivers coach Blaine Stewart, the team announced. The club did not announced a direct replacement for Canada.

The team has not had any coaches miss any games this season due to COVID-19 issues.

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Reports: Steelers RB James Conner, Coach Danny Smith Test Positive for COVID-19



Steelers running back James Conner and special teams coordinator Danny Smith have tested positive for COVID-19, according to reports by Adam Schefter of ESPN, Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network and Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette.

Conner, the Steelers’ starting running back, is a cancer survivor. Smith, 67 is in his eighth season with the Steelers and 25th as an NFL coach.

The news comes on the heels of the team placing three players — defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs and Stephon Tuitt and tackle Jerald Hawkins — on the COVID-19 reserve list on Friday.

Tracing for close contacts is underway. Schefter reported that Conner has multiple close contacts that will have to be isolated from the team.

With the Steelers scheduled to play the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on Tuesday, Conner, the three players placed on the COVID-19 list on Friday and all additional positive cases and close contacts will miss the game.

Conner will likely be replaced by second-year backup Benny Snell. Chris Wormley and Henry Mondeaux will fill in for Tuitt and Buggs on the defensive line, if available. Derwin Gray will be elevated to the top backup at tackle without Hawkins.

The Steelers did not practice on Friday and are not scheduled to practice on Saturday. They are scheduled to return to practice on Sunday.

The Steelers previously had guard Kevin Dotson on the COVID-19 reserve list, while tight end Vance McDonald came off the list this week after missing one game.

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