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Steelers Activate WR James Washington from COVID-19 Reserve List

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The Steelers have officially activated wide receiver James Washington from the COVID-19 reserve list, the team announced Friday morning.

Washington was placed on the list last week. While it is unclear if Washington actually tested positive for the virus or simply came in contact with someone who was positive, there is no set timetable a player must stay on the list before being activated.

The reserve/COVID-19 designation was created for players who have either tested positive for the virus, or have been in close contact with an infected individual. Players can be removed from the list once they have been medically cleared. There is no limit to the amount of players a club can place on the list.

In addition to the NFL creating COVID-19 reserve list, 66 players across the league have opted out of the 2020 season thus far, the majority of them offensive linemen. When speaking with the media Thursday morning, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said none of his players would be choosing to sit this year out.

 

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Watch: Steelers LB Ola Adeniyi Surprises Mother with SUV for Birthday

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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyi had a big surprise for his mother for her birthday last week.

Adeniyi, who was born in Nigeria and grew up in Texas, posted a video on Friday of him surprising his mother with a Range Rover for her birthday.

https://twitter.com/Love_Ola_9/status/1350239629614710787

Adeniyi, 23, just finished his third season with the Steelers in 2020 after joining the team as an undrafted free agent out of Toledo in 2018.

He got his most extensive playing time this season, appearing in 14% of the team’s defensive snaps after playing just 1% and 6% in his first two seasons. The injury to Bud Dupree opened up more playing time for Adeniyi and rookie Alex Highsmith at outside linebacker. Adeniyi has been a consistent performer on special teams the last two seasons.

Adeniyi is a restricted free agent this offseason and should be expected to earn a raise on his $575,000 salary from this past season.

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Jerome Bettis Helps Start Memorial Fund for Family of Tim Lester

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Steelers running back Jerome Bettis is trying to help out the family of his former teammate.

Tim Lester, who was Bettis’ teammate and lead blocker with the Steelers and Los Angeles Rams, died this week at the age of 52 due to complications from COVID-19.

After Lester’s death, Bettis started the Tim Lester Family Memorial Fund, and a GoFundMe page that has accumulated over $35,000 worth of donations in just two days.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and want to support Tim’s wife Natalie and children Tim Jr., Tristan and Tony in any way we can,” Bettis wrote. “I , Jerome Bettis, with the help of my family, friends and former teammates of mine and Tim’s have set up this memorial fund to help the Lester family with funeral costs. We thank you for your thoughts, prayers, well wishes and generous donations in lieu of flowers.”

James Farrior, Joey Porter, Kordell Stewart and Will Wolford are among the former teammates that have contributed.

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Report: Ben Roethlisberger Wants JuJu Smith-Schuster to Return to Steelers for 2021

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Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to return to the team, according to a report by NFL Network, and he apparently also wants wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to return to the team with him.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo reported that Roethlisberger has communicated to the team that he wants Smith-Schuster back for the 2021 season.


Roethlisberger has one season left on his contract, which carries a $41 million cap hit, including $19 million of salary. Smith-Schuster is set to become a free agent for the first time in his career after making $1.04 million in 2020.

Roethlisberger’s contract is a big part of a money crunch that has the Steelers as much as $40 million over the 2021 salary cap entering the offseason.

Smith-Schuster is expected to make as much as $15 million per year on a market-value contract.

It’s not clear how the Steelers would be able to fit both Roethlisberger and Smith-Schuster under the 2021 salary cap. Roethlisberger would almost certainly have to take a significant pay cut.

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