The Pittsburgh Steelers have dealt with plenty as it pertains to the COVID-19 virus. Whether it was the Tennessee Titans outbreak which wrecked their bye week plans, or the Baltimore Ravens’ outbreak with altered their Thanksgiving. They are used to the changes which accompany the virus, and as head coach Mike Tomlin would say, “We don’t care.”
With the NFL preparing for the playoffs, the Cleveland Browns’ situation has made a trifecta for the Steelers, as it pertains to opposition dealing with the virus spreading throughout the players and coaches. After Ronnie Harrison was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List Thursday, many were wondering if the NFL would move the playoff game.
Well, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, with no new positive tests, it is game on at Heinz Field in the Wild Card round this Sunday night.
Best-case scenario in Cleveland: All Mesa testing done and only the assistant offensive line coach - a prior HRCC - is positive, per source. Players from yesterday and today tested negative, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 8, 2021
Sunday night vs. Steelers is on.
While the game is on, and this is great news, it isn’t like the Browns haven’t been deeply impacted by their current situation. They will not only be without players like Harrison and Bitonio, but also head coach Kevin Stefanski. Stefanski isn’t just the head coach, but also the team’s play caller on the offensive side of the ball.
To make matters worse, the Browns haven’t been able to practice yet this week this leading up to the playoff game. Think about that. With a postseason berth on your doorstep, the first since 2002 for Cleveland, your players haven’t been able to have even one physical repetition before playing the Steelers at their place Sunday night.
Tough sledding for even the most seasoned team, let alone a team with very little playoff experience on the roster. Nonetheless, it looks as if the game will go off without a problem, barring something unforeseen happening, so be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for all the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold heading into Wild Card weekend.
UPDATE: The Browns will be holding practice on Friday per ESPN’s Kimberly Martin: