Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler will not be able to coach for the team’s regular-season finale at Baltimore on Sunday while in the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol, a team spokesman announced on Saturday. Butler first entered the protocol on Thursday.
Head coach Mike Tomlin and senior defensive assistant Teryl Austin will handle Butler’s usual duties. Tomlin said on Thursday that he felt comfortable handling both roles if necessary.
“We’ll deal with those decisions at the 11th hour,” he said.
Tomlin was a defensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings before becoming the Steelers’ head coach. Austin was defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals from 2014-18.
Butler’s absence will mark the first time this season that a Steelers coach will miss a game while in the COVID-19 protocol. Last season, special teams coordinator Danny Smith and then-quarterbacks coach Matt Canada missed the home game against the Ravens.
The Steelers also have one player on the COVID-19 list: wide receiver James Washington, who will miss the game after being added to the list on Saturday.