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The Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the fortunate teams who haven’t had a positive COVID-19 case since the regular season began, and they want to keep it that way.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the fortunate teams who have not had a COVID-19 positive case since they reported to training camp this past summer. Also, yes, I knocked on wood for all those superstitious fans out there. Nonetheless, the Steelers have done a great job keeping things straight, and they want to keep it that way.
During the past two weeks the NFL has seen positive tests pop up in organizations like the Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders and the Atlanta Falcons. Every single case has been unique. The Titans was a full outbreak, while the Falcons had one player test positive, and it stopped there.
During a Zoom interview with media, Cam Heyward spoke about how anyone who thinks the virus won’t impact the regular season is fooling themselves.
“To think we weren’t going to have positive tests is ludicrous,” Heyward said.
What can the Steelers, and Heyward, do to ensure the impact the virus has on the team?
“What you’re trying to eliminate is the amount of (positive) tests back to back and have it widespread throughout a community in the NFL. We’re trying to wear masks. We’re trying to social distance. You’re trying to just adhere to the protocols and just follow.
“I can only preach it to the young guys, and the older guys, as well, when you leave this facility that has a lasting effect on our team. Everybody has to do their job.”
Several players, like Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson and Ben Roethlisberger, have talked about measures they have taken to help reduce their exposure to the public. Dupree spoke about going to work, and then going straight home afterwards. Nelson spoke about doing nothing but spending time with his family, and Roethlisberger even decided to home school his children to help reduce the risk of the virus getting into their home, and then possibly into the locker room.
“There’s going to be more positives.” Heyward said. “It’s our job to minimize the amount it takes over a team. If one guy gets it or two guys get it we’re able to respond accordingly. But when an entire team and it spreads throughout your coaching staff and your team, it’s going to be hard to really deal with the effects of that.”
The Steelers were on the wrong side of an outbreak in Week 4 as the Titans saw the virus impact both their coaching staff and their roster. Heyward’s description of last week were notable.
“It was a whirlwind,” Heyward said. “You come in like a regular week, focused on your opponent; that’s the selfish part of me understanding that I’ve got to be a little bit more flexible in adjusting to this. A lot of things happen on the fly. We’re just trying to adapt to the situation.
“We just have to be willing to adjust. I know the NFL and the NFLPA are trying to do right by the players and the coaches but there’s only so much they can do. It’s going to take a discipline throughout each player and each team to help accommodate that.”
The Steelers are hoping to have a regular week, as regular as 2020 can be, as they prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5 at Heinz Field. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they come off the bye and hope to move their record to 4-0.