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Steelers Injury Report: Barron, Nix, Rudolph Out; Nelson Questionable vs. Chargers

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The Steelers have ruled linebacker Mark Barron, fullback Roosevelt Nix and quarterback Mason Rudolph out for this Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, while cornerback Steve Nelson is questionable.

Rudolph, who suffered a concussion in Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, was limited in practice all three days this week and remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol. He will be replaced by rookie Devlin Hodges.

Barron injured his hamstring against Baltimore and did not practice this week. His role will be absorbed by fellow inside linebackers Devin Bush and Vince Williams, with backup Tyler Matakevich also seeing an increase in playing time.

Nix hasn’t played since the season opening against New England with a knee injury and also did not practice this week. Defensive lineman Tyson Alualu played fullback against the Ravens.

Nelson injured his groin against the Ravens and was a limited participant in practice this week. If he can’t play, Artie Burns would start in his place at outside cornerback.

The Steelers will also be without running back Jaylen Samuels, who is expected to miss a month after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday and wide receiver James Washington, who is expected to miss multiple weeks with an AC joint injury to his left shoulder.

Nickel corner Mike Hilton, who was listed with a foot injury as a limited participant on Thursday, practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play. So is outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo, who returned to practice fully on Thursday after missing several weeks with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

Steelers

Report: Steelers QB Coach Matt Canada Tested Positive for COVID-19

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Steelers quarterbacks coach Matt Canada has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network.

The Steelers announced earlier on Saturday that Canada, along with special teams coordinator Danny Smith, will not coach in the team’s game against the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday due to illnesses.

Kinkhabwala reported that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is not considered a close contact of Canada’s and will not have to isolate for five days, as he did when tight end Vance McDonald tested positive earlier this season.

Smith has also tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Steelers announced that assistant wide receivers coach Blaine Stewart will replace Smith. They did not announce a replacement for Canada.

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Steelers

Matt Canada, Danny Smith Will Not Coach for Steelers vs. Ravens

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Steelers special teams coordinator Danny Smith and quarterbacks coach Matt Canada will not participate in the team’s game Tuesday night against the Baltimore Ravens, the team announced on Saturday.

The Steelers said both coaches will not participate due to illness. Smith has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by the Post-Gazette.

Smith will be replaced by assistant wide receivers coach Blaine Stewart, the team announced. The club did not announced a direct replacement for Canada.

The team has not had any coaches miss any games this season due to COVID-19 issues.

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Reports: Steelers RB James Conner, Coach Danny Smith Test Positive for COVID-19

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Steelers running back James Conner and special teams coordinator Danny Smith have tested positive for COVID-19, according to reports by Adam Schefter of ESPN, Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network and Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette.

Conner, the Steelers’ starting running back, is a cancer survivor. Smith, 67 is in his eighth season with the Steelers and 25th as an NFL coach.

The news comes on the heels of the team placing three players — defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs and Stephon Tuitt and tackle Jerald Hawkins — on the COVID-19 reserve list on Friday.

Tracing for close contacts is underway. Schefter reported that Conner has multiple close contacts that will have to be isolated from the team.

With the Steelers scheduled to play the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on Tuesday, Conner, the three players placed on the COVID-19 list on Friday and all additional positive cases and close contacts will miss the game.

Conner will likely be replaced by second-year backup Benny Snell. Chris Wormley and Henry Mondeaux will fill in for Tuitt and Buggs on the defensive line, if available. Derwin Gray will be elevated to the top backup at tackle without Hawkins.

The Steelers did not practice on Friday and are not scheduled to practice on Saturday. They are scheduled to return to practice on Sunday.

The Steelers previously had guard Kevin Dotson on the COVID-19 reserve list, while tight end Vance McDonald came off the list this week after missing one game.

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