The Pittsburgh Steelers’ COVID-19 issues have not abated, even though quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned on Sunday.
Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick remains on the COVID-19 Reserve List after missing Sunday’s game and could miss the start of the practice week Wednesday.
Tuesday, the team added a third player, as wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list.
The team has been playing without starting slot receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, believed to be out for the season with a shoulder injury, and McCloud has taken up a good deal of the playing time in the slot in his absence. McCloud is also the team’s primary kick and punt returner.
If McCloud has been vaccinated, he will have to be asymptomatic for 48 hours and then have two negative tests before being allowed to return to action. That timeframe certainly precludes him from practicing this week and makes it unlikely that he will be able to play against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
With McCloud out, expect the team to utilize a combination of regular outside receivers Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and James Washington in the slot. Steven Sims and Anthony Miller are candidates to be recalled from the practice squad.
Johnson has returned punts for the Steelers in the past. It’s unclear who the team would use on kickoffs.