The Pittsburgh Steelers were in need of some defensive help at the inside linebacker position. After losing Devin Bush for the year with a torn ACL, and primary backup Robert Spillane with a knee injury of his own, the team was going to lean on the veteran leadership of Vince Williams.
However, when Williams contracted COVID-19, putting him on the Reserve List, the defense had to rely on trade acquisition Avery Williamson and hybrid linebacker Marcus Allen in Week 14 vs. the Buffalo Bills, and again in Week 15 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.
Extremely thin at the ILB position, the reinforcements are on the way via the Steelers taking Williams off the Reserve/COVID-19 List on Wednesday.
We have activated LB Vince Williams from the Reserve/COVID-19 List. @BordasLaw https://t.co/dLyuquqcC2— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 23, 2020
Williams isn’t just an integral part of the defense, but he brings with him an intensity the unit has lacked in his absence. Williamson has worn the green dot, which means he is the one communicating defensive calls from Keith Butler to the defense, but it is likely Williams will take over those duties upon being reacclimated to the team.
During his time away from the team, Williams took to social media speaking about the frustrations of watching his teammates going through tough times without him, as well as the struggle of the virus itself.
Lungs feel like I smoked 8 packs of Newports 3 Black and Milds and a Russian Cream.— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) December 13, 2020
These symptoms could have been why Williams, unlike others who have come off the COVID List after just one week, missed two games.
Whatever the reason, the Steelers will welcome Williams back with open arms as they face the Indianapolis Colts in Week 16 at Heinz Field. A game in which a win secures the AFC North division, and the likely No. 3 seed in the AFC Playoff Picture.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for this huge test in Week 16.