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Joe Haden tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Week 17 and the AFC Wild Card game

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense takes a huge blow heading into the season finale, and the AFC Playoffs.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers fan base was left scratching their heads when they saw veteran cornerback Joe Haden post the following tweets on his verified Twitter page:

Shortly after those tweets were made, members of the media who cover the Steelers were announcing Haden faced a “COVID situation” and won’t be available for the Week 17 game vs. the Cleveland Browns.

Okay, but what exactly was the situation? Was he a high risk contact? Did he test positive?

As is being reported now by Brooke Pryor of ESPN, among others, Haden tested positive for COVID-19, and will miss the Week 17 game. However, due to a recent change in the NFL’s policies, even if Haden is asymptomatic, he has to quarantine for 10 days, meaning he will also miss the Steelers’ AFC Wild Card game.

This is devastating news not just for Haden, but also for the Steelers’ defense. Haden, when combined with Steven Nelson, make up one of the league’s best cornerback duos. Without Haden, the Steelers will turn to Cam Sutton to fill the role and hope a combination of Sutton and Justin Layne can fill the void.

At this point the story is far from done. The Steelers, along with the NFL, will now have to go through their contact tracing protocol. If Haden was near any other teammates, they will likely be out this weekend, but doesn’t mean they will be out of the playoff game unless they test positive for the virus.

Between the Steelers’ new COVID-19 issues, and the Cleveland Browns having their own issues, you have to wonder what the game will look like on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

There will be plenty more to this story, so be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Browns, and the playoffs.