First and foremost, we don’t wish any illness or injury on any opponent. As Steelers fans we want to play every opponent at their best and earn every victory on our way to championships. And as we sit here right now, one of the favorites to win Super Bowl 56 Is the next opponent of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they are battling some serious COVID-19 issues. The Kansas City Chiefs currently have 13 members of their roster on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. With so many cases being unveiled on Tuesday, history would tell us to expect more positive tests to pop up. But so far on Wednesday the Chiefs tests have come back negative and potentially keeping the matchup as is.
More COVID issues in KC, which is becoming this week’s hot spot.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 21, 2021
Chiefs’ WR Tyreek Hill, CB Rashad Fenton and TE Blake Bell are being placed on Reserve/COVID, sources tell @adamteicher and me.
Other players likely coming but as one source said, “it’s a mess.”
This isn’t the first time the Steelers have had to face an opponent experiencing a full on outbreak. A season ago both the Steelers matchups against the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens were delayed because of their issues with the illness. However, there are a lot of differences between those games last year and this game against the Chiefs. The most notable being the NFL really doesn’t have any time to delay this game like what happened to the Steelers in 2020. At most, the NFL could push this game to Tuesday and simply make the Chiefs play with whoever is available to them. there are no more bye weeks in this season and both the Chiefs and Steelers have to play games in Week 17 on Sunday and Monday.
If the game is played as is, there is a chance the Chiefs will be without a list of All-Pro level players including Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Chris Jones, plus a laundry list of other players. For the Steelers trying to somehow claw their way back into a playoff spot, having to travel to Kansas City to face a red-hot Chiefs team is a very daunting task, with these issues, however, the Steelers have a legit shot at winning this game. Is it selfish to hope the Steelers can steal a win because of an opponent’s battles with COVID? Sure, but these same Steelers were forced to play a game without their starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger against the Detroit Lions, and without one of their best players on defense, Minkah Fitzpatrick, against the Los Angeles Chargers. These things happen and the Steelers could use a little bit of extra help to push them the rest of the way.
As of the moment of writing this piece, the Steelers and Chiefs will still play at 4:25 PM eastern time on Sunday. With more positive tests I’m sure this game will be delayed to either Monday or Tuesday of next week, and Steelers fans will need to stay locked on to Behind The Steel Curtain if news breaks of this game being moved to a different time.
The Steelers are starting to have COVID-19 issues of their own, as three players have been added to the Reserve/COVID-19 List Wednesday. See the links below for more information:
But what do you think? Do you expect this game to be moved or played at its original time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.