The Steelers could end up with an early bye, three straight road games and have to face a division rival that’s coming off a bye week, if the NFL takes what appears to be the easiest solution to rescheduling the postponed Week 4 game between the Steelers and Tennessee Titans.
The NFL announced on Thursday that the game will not be played in Week 4 after the Titans received two more positive tests on Thursday, bringing their total to 12 in the last week.
The most likely scenario appears to have the teams playing in Week 7, which is the Titans’ bye week, with Pittsburgh’s scheduled game with the Baltimore Ravens moved back to Week 8, with is the Ravens’ current bye week.
That would give the Steelers a Week 4 bye week, which is not usually possible under the league’s current scheduling rubric, but has been in the recent past. The Steelers had a Week 4 bye in 2012, 2006, 2005 and 1996. They had a Week 3 bye in 2002 and 1997 and a Week 2 bye in 2000.
The Steelers would be playing three straight road games from Week 7 to Week 9, playing at Tennessee, at Baltimore and at the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 8. There are two other NFL teams that will play three straight road games in 2020: the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals. The Philadelphia Eagles played three straight road games in 2019. The Steelers haven’t played three straight road games since 2010, when they visited the Miami Dolphins, Saints and Cincinnati Bengals from Oct. 17-31.
The final issue for the Steelers is that they’d face the Ravens while the Ravens are coming off a bye. The teams had been scheduled to have their byes at the same time. But this does happen in NFL schedules. The Los Angeles Rams will face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12, with the 49ers coming off their Week 11 bye, while the Rams play on Monday Night Football in Week 11.
The Steelers will be placed in three unusual, but not unprecedented circumstances, if the NFL does choose this route in rescheduling the game.