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Steelers Cancel Practices; Mike Tomlin to Speak Tuesday after Darryl Drake’s Death

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The Steelers have canceled a second practice and modified the schedule for a third as the team continues to deal with the unexpected loss of wide receivers coach Darryl Drake on Sunday morning.

Drake, 62, passed away just days after coaching in the team’s first preseason game at Heinz Field on Friday. The Steelers had been scheduled to resume practices on Sunday afternoon after an off day Saturday.

Instead, the Steelers have canceled practices on Sunday and Monday, and will use a modified schedule on Tuesday, beginning with head coach Mike Tomlin addressing the media from St. Vincent College near Latrobe, the team’s training camp headquarters.

Funeral arrangements for the coach, who was popular with both his current and former players, have not yet been announced.

The Steelers have three more practices at St. Vincent College, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, before they break camp and return to UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side for the remainder of their preseason practices.

The Steelers are scheduled to host the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

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Poll: Would You Attend a Steelers Game if Fans Are Allowed?

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The Steelers hope to have fans back in the stands at Heinz Field at some point in the month of October, with team president Art Rooney II saying on Sunday that he feels “it’s time.”

There are obviously still concerns with COVID-19 transmission, as evidenced by the Tennessee Titans shutting down their practices on Tuesday with eight positive COVID-19 tests.

If the team can get government approval, would you as a fan feel comfortable attending a game?

Will You Attend a Steelers Game is Fans Are Allowed?

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Titans Shut Down Practice after Multiple Positive COVID-19 Tests

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The Tennessee Titans have shut down their practices this week after multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the organization, the team announced on Tuesday in advance of their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers scheduled for this Sunday in Nashville.

The Titans had three new player positives and five new staff positives on Tuesday, and both the Titans, and their opponents from Sunday the Minnesota Vikings, have shut down practices for the week, according to a report by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the organization has decided to work remotely today as we follow NFL protocols related to the COVID-19 virus,” the Titans said in a statement to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “Several tests have come back positive and we are working through the process of confirming them. We will have more information [Wednesday].”

According to a report ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the NFL is shutting down the Titans’ entire week of practice until Saturday, which would obviously put the status of Sunday’s game in jeopardy.

Update, 10:31 a.m: The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement later on Tuesday morning:

“​On Tuesday morning, the Titans COVID testing results returned three new player positives and five new personnel positives. The Titans will suspend in-person club activities starting today. Likewise, the Vikings, who played the Titans on Sunday, will also suspend in-person club activities. Both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the NFLPA, including our infectious disease experts, to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments. All decisions will be made with health and safety as our primary consideration. We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.”

Update, 10:47 a.m: Kevin Seifert of ESPN has confirmed that the tests are not false positives.

Update, 11:43 a.m: The Steelers have postponed Mike Tomlin’s press conference, which was scheduled for noon.

Update, 11:50 a.m: Betting on the Steelers-Titans game has been taken off the board in several casinos, including Parx in Pennsylvania.

Update, 11:57 a.m:  Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten has released the following statement:

“We have been in contact with the NFL regarding the positive COVID-19 tests with the Tennessee Titans. We have been informed to proceed with our game preparations for Sunday’s game until we are informed otherwise.

“We will provide more information when it becomes available.”

Update, 12:01 p.m: Albert Breer of NFL Network is reporting that Titans outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen tested positive last week and is not one of the eight positive cases announced by the team on Tuesday.

Update, 1:32 p.m: Mike Garafalo of NFL Network is reporting that the Titans have been told to prepare as if this Sunday’s game is on, even. if it means not practicing until Saturday.

Stay with Steelers Now with more on this developing story.

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Steelers LT Alejandro Villanueva Explains His Decision to Honor Alwyn Cashe

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Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva explains why decided to honor deceased US Army sergeant Alwyn Cashe on his teammate instead of joining the rest of team in honoring police shooting victim Antwon Rose, Jr via Zoom with members of the media on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020.

The Steelers had previously announced that the entire team would be honoring Rose, but Villanueva decided to change his mind and honor Cashe. He spoke with Mike Tomlin about that decision, but team captains Cameron Heyward and Ben Roethlisberger said they were surprised by Villanueva’s decision.

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