PITTSBURGH — Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did not rule out a potential return from the COVID-19 protocol for defensive coordinator Keith Butler when speaking with the media Thursday, and said any contingency plans for if Butler is unable to coach will not be announced until the eve of the game.
“We’re taking it day by day,” Tomlin said. “We’ve just developed that mentality regarding COVID, much like concussions. We’ll let the experts tell us and we remain hopeful and optimistic. We’ll deal with those decisions at the 11th hour.”
Tomlin did say that he would feel comfortable calling the defensive plays if it came down to it. A former defensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings, he acknowledged that he does at times miss the “chess match” of being a coordinator, but would’t trade it for his current job.
“I kinda like my paycheck,” he joked.
In addition to Butler, the Steelers currently have three players in the COVID-19 protocol: cornerback Joe Haden, center Kendrick Green and wide receiver Diontae Johnson.