The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced they have placed linebacker Vince Williams on Reserve/COVID-19 List.
We have placed LB Vince Williams on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.https://t.co/CMQtAve0Va— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 10, 2020
This is the second time Williams has been placed on the Covid list during the 2020 season. Deemed a close contact to Vance McDonald following the Steelers Week 9 game against the Dallas Cowboys, Williams spent the week on the list along with Ben Roethlisberger, Jerald Hawkins, and Jaylen Samuels. All four players were able to return in order to face the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10.
With Williams going on the list on Thursday, he will not have enough time to return, regardless of the circumstances which placed him on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, before the Steelers face the Buffalo Bills this coming Sunday night. This per Brooke Pryor of ESPN:
Even if Vince Williams is just considered a "high-risk" close contact, he has to be on the list for a minimum of five days, ruling him out for Sunday vs. Buffalo.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) December 10, 2020
This is the second time Williams has been on the list. He was also a high-risk close contact of Vance McDonald
With Williams unavailable and Robert Spillane assumed to be out with a knee injury he suffered in Monday’s game against the Washington Football Team, the Steelers are left extremely thin at inside linebacker. Avery Williamson, acquired via trade from the New York Jets just before the NFL trade deadline, is the only true inside linebacker on the Steelers 53-man roster. Ulysees Gilbert III returned to practice this week in hopes of coming off the Reserve/Injured List within the next three weeks, but his availability for Sunday is unknown at this time. The Steelers have also used safeties Marcus Allen and Antoine Brooks Jr. in a hybrid role filling in at linebacker in some sub packages.
The loss of Williams will be a challenge for Pittsburgh Steelers as he has started all 12 games in 2020 while contributing with three sacks and 14 tackles for loss.
Stay tuned to BTSC as the Pittsburgh Steelers continue their preparation to face the Buffalo Bills this Sunday night in Buffalo.