The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting an early bye week, thanks the to the COVID-19 outbreak on the Tennessee Titans that caused the indefinite postponement of the teams’ game that had been scheduled for this Sunday in Nashville.
But don’t expect to see Instagram highlights from the players on vacation this weekend.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin explained on Thursday that the players will still have to be tested daily, and the NFL reiterated that with a policy memo on Friday, after coming to an agreement with the NFL Players Association win the issue.
“Players and coaches will not be permitted to leave the club city during the bye week and must provide daily specimens for COVID-19 testing,” the policy reads. Players that miss a test will earn a $50,000 fine for the first violation and a one-game suspension without pay for the second missed test.
Players that miss a test will also have to undergo a five-day period of isolation and can incur further penalties if they miss mandatory practices and/or games in that time period.
The Steelers plan to have their rookie dinner this weekend, wide receiver Chase Claypool said, which generally involves the team’s rookies picking up the tab on an expensive meal. That might be the extent of the vacation the Steelers get during their four days away from the game, which started on Friday.
The Steelers will get back to work next week in advance of their Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.