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Report: Cam Heyward, Maurkice Pouncey, T.J. Watt Will Also Sit vs. Browns on Sunday

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As was expected, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won’t be the only Steelers starter to not play this Sunday in the season finale against the Cleveland Browns.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Mike Tomlin plans on also resting some of the other veterans in defensive tackle Cam Heyward, outside linebacker T.J. Watt and center Maurkice Pouncey.

With his 53 tackles, 15 sacks and two forced fumbles, Watt is a leading contender for NFL Defensive Player of the Year but with the AFC North and a playoff spot already clinched, the Steelers are taking a safe approach as the injury risk outweighs any other considerations to chance Watt and the others playing.

As we get closer to Sunday, it’s expected that Tomlin will also make the decision to sit other players that are too valuable to risk or that have been battling injuries throughout the season. Wide receiver JuJu Smith Schuster, offensive guard David DeCastro, cornerback Joe Haden and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick are likely candidates to get the week off.

Another thing to consider is that the Steelers were the only NFL team to technically not have a bye week because of COVID-19 issues on both the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans, the week they were scheduled to play.

Odds

Odds: Will the Steelers Draft a Quarterback in the First Round?

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Will the Pittsburgh Steelers select a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft?

Oddsmakers don’t think so.

The Steelers are 5/2 (+250) to draft a quarterback in the first round this April and 1/4 (-400) to go in a different direction, courtesy of BetOnline.

Pittsburgh owns the No. 24 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, and could go in a number of directions to address their mounting needs, including quarterback, running back and offensive line.

While the Steelers will miss out on top flight quarterback prospects like Clemson’ Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, who are expected to be drafted in the top three, they still could have some enticing quarterback options at No. 24.

A pair of Heisman Trophy finalists in Alabama’s Mac Jones and Florida’s Kyle Trask could both be available for the Steelers to select late first round.

Jones is coming off a national championship and 41 touchdown pass season for the Crimson Tide, while Trask led the country with 43 touchdown passes for the Gators.

The speculation Pittsburgh will select a quarterback comes as current signal caller Ben Roethlisberger weighs retirement following his 17th season leading the team.

Roethlisberger will turn 39 on March 2, and has one year remaining on his current contract.

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Steelers CB Joe Haden Updates Recovery from COVID-19

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For some rare uplifting news concerning the Pittsburgh Steelers, veteran corner Joe Haden provided an update on Twitter about his positive case of COVID-19.

Haden makes it clear he’s feeling fine and not dealing with any symptoms. It appears he’s out of the woods and has successfully battled the virus. He did say he lost his sense of smell, which is a very common issue for many even weeks and months after battling the virus.

The 31-year-old was forced to sit out both the Steelers Week 17 game and Wild Card Round contest against his former team – the Cleveland Browns. Of course, the Steelers lost both games without Haden. While the Week 17 game was a game Haden, much like how other veterans were treated that week with Pittsburgh unable to obtain a bye in the playoffs, may have been inactive for anyway, he was certainly missed in the playoff game. Cleveland eliminated their rival by a score of 48-37, dominating the Steelers throughout most of the day.

Haden initially unveiled his displeasure and anger with the news he would have to miss the playoff game due to testing positive for COVID-19.

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Avery Williamson, Steelers Donate $10,000 to the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

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The Pittsburgh Steelers and inside linebacker Avery Williamson have announced a $10,000 donation to the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

Williamson and the Steelers’ contribution is the latest installment in the franchise’s Social Justice Grant program, assisting organizations that are making a difference in the Pittsburgh community.

Williamson attributed a $5,000 donation to the cause, which was matched by the Steelers.

According to their website, The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh aims to “enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power, and civil rights.”

The Urban League does so through “extra-curricular educational opportunities, health advocacy, housing counseling, parental education” and more.

The organization has also been crucial amidst the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, providing life-saving resources to the disproportionately affected Black community.

Over recent months, the Urban League has assisted thousands of families with mortgage relief and rental assistance, hygiene essentials, employment support and even food for the holidays.

“You had the police community social justice issues, which tie into the race issues, which ties into the pandemic, that really promoted more use of our food pantry, more use and I am pleased to say additional income to help our housing program where we help people with their mortgage, rent and utilities,” President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Esther Bush told Steelers.com. “Not just through our housing programs which is what we do, but through all of our programs we hear the needs and get the referrals. I am extremely proud that the City of Pittsburgh, as well as Allegheny County, has reached out to us to give us additional funds and service those laid off employees that work in the hourly jobs, restaurants, etc. The Urban League staff are absolutely essential workers when I look at the hundreds of people we have helped during this pandemic.”

For Williamson, the decision to help the Urban League’s mission came easy.

“What they are doing is a great cause and I just wanted to add to it,” said Williamson. “Equal rights are something that has been fought for to achieve for years. I am glad a lot of these situations are being brought up with the injustices. Hopefully all the things going on will make a difference and change the spectrum of racism in America and across the world. It can be an uncomfortable situation to talk about, but it helps break down a lot of barriers. It can make a lot of people’s perspectives change, just having a conversation.”

With the help of the Steelers organization and players like Williamson, the Urban League hopes to continue creating change and serving the community for years to come.

“The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh has been around for 102 years,” Bush said. “We are pleased that we can lift almost every aspect of the community in an ongoing basis or at some point has really embraced us and brought us closer. Our relationship with the Steelers goes back for some time. When you see a Steelers player choose the Urban League, and he has heard about us or read about us through the work we do every single day, we are hoping what we bring to the community to make the community better, especially for black folks and low income individuals, is making the right impact.”

Steeler fans interested in assisting the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh themselves can visit their website here.

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