The Pittsburgh Steelers placed cornerback James Pierre on the COVID-19 reserve list, the team announced on Saturday.
The late announcement nearly assures the Pierre will miss the team’s AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.
A second-year former undrafted free agent out of FAU, Pierre started the season as the team’s primary backup at outside corner, but has lost playing time to veteran Ahkello Witherspoon, as Witherspoon has gotten more acclimated to the Pittsburgh system since coming over from Seattle in an early season trade.
Justin Layne will move up the depth chart with Pierre unavailable. Pierre has served as a key special teams performer for two straight seasons. It’s unclear who will replace his special teams role. The Steelers did not announce a COVID-19 replacement for Pierre.
Pierre is the only active Steelers player that is currently on the COVID-19 reserve list. Linebacker Buddy Johnson, who is also on injured reserve, is also currently on the list. Wide receiver James Washington and defensive coordinator Keith Butler have both been activated after missing the Week 18 game at Baltimore.