By: Jessica Costello
The Pittsburgh Steelers went into the Cincinnati Bengals week with four players missing practice for three days after being placed on the COVID-19 / Reserve list.
Quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger being one of those guys.
Even then, the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol requires teams to hold all meetings virtually.
Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin says the team handled all the obstacles and adversity well, considering the outcome of the Bengals game.
“We’re really proud of these guys today, just because it was a challenging week,” said Tomlin. “It wasn’t a very fluid week for us in terms of dealing with COVID in the manner in which we had to. We had a number of significant guys that weren’t allowed to come to work. We were working remotely from a meeting standpoint, didn’t have a lot of exposure to our guys. So, there was a lot of anxiety about just feeling good about the prep. It’s good to kind of face that and persevere and come and have that type of performance.
“It was something to build from there. We understand the environment that we’re in. There could be some of that in the future, and we’ve just got to be vigilant about, number one, working our tails off to keep ourselves and everyone else safe, but number two, not letting some of the challenges of the pandemic be a factor in terms of the quality of our play. It’s something globally that everybody has to deal with, and I like the way the group embraced the challenges of it this week.”
When the team’s quarterback couldn’t practice for a few days, Tomlin wasn’t a bit concerned about Roethlisberger not doing the work.
And he wasn’t wrong.
Roethlisberger finished the Bengals game going 27-of-46 for 333 yards, four touchdowns and a rating of 110.1.
With no practice.
“Like I said earlier in the week, there was less anxiety in terms of dealing with him in these circumstances maybe than some of the circumstances he and I have been in the past where his health was a factor in terms of availability,” said Tomlin. “His health was not a factor, so we had very little reservations about his ability to perform once we got him to the stadium,” Tomlin said.
The Steelers keep their winning streak up as they advanced to 9-0. Pittsburgh will play in Jacksonville this coming Sunday at noon against the Jaguars.
Do you think Pittsburgh makes it 10-0 this Sunday? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!