Joe Haden, Eric Ebron, and Cassius Marsh have all been placed in the Covid list.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have made several roster moves in preparation for their Week 17 game in Cleveland against the Browns. After news broke earlier on Saturday of Joe Haden testing positive for COVID-19, he has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List along with Eric Ebron and Cassius Marsh. In a corresponding move, the Steelers have elevated four players from the practice squad for Sunday’s game in kicker Matthew Wright, tight end Kevin Rader, wide receiver Deon Cain, and tackle Anthony Coyle.
We’ve also elevated T Anthony Coyle & WR Deon Cain to the Active/Inactive roster from the practice squad, & elevated TE Kevin Rader & K Matthew Wright to the Active/Inactive roster from the practice squad as COVID-19 replacements.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 2, 2021
It was reported earlier on Saturday cornerback Joe Haden tested positive for COVID-19 and would miss this Sunday’s game. If Haden has indeed tested positive, he would also miss the Steelers Wild Card matchup next weekend as he will have to be in isolation for at least 10 days. As for tight end Eric Ebron and outside linebacker Cassius Marsh, it is believed they are being placed on the list as close contacts for the time being, so their tests over the next several days will determine their availability in the postseason. With the Steelers already announcing T.J. Watt will not make the trip to Cleveland along with no other outside linebackers on the practice squad, the Steelers will only have Alex Highsmith, Ola Adeniyi, and Jayrone Elliott available at the position.
With kicker Chris Boswell already ruled out for the game, the Steelers have elevated Matthew Wright as a Covid replacement. Since Wright had been elevated off the practice squad twice by the Steelers during the 2020 season, he was ineligible to be elevated again as a normal elevation. Wright kicked for the Steelers in Week 13 against the Washington Football Team and Week 16 against the Indianapolis Colts. In two games with the Steelers, Wright has yet to miss a kick as he is 6 for 6 on extra points and has a 37-yard field goal. The biggest concern with Wright is not his accuracy but his distance as the Steelers did not attempt at 46-yard field goal in the fourth quarter against the Washington Football Team in a tie game and instead unsuccessfully attempted a 4th & 1 conversion.
The other player who is elevated as a Covid replacement is tight end Kevin Rader. On and off the Steelers practice squad in 2019, Rader was a fixture in 2020 on the practice squad until he was activated to the 53-man roster prior to the Steelers Week 12 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Rader was released before the Steelers Week 15 game in Cincinnati and was signed back to the practice squad. Although on the active roster, Rader did not appear in any games.
Wide receiver Dion Cain was elevated for Sunday’s game against the Browns as a second time joining the roster in 2020. Cain was also elevated from the practice squad in Week 6 against the Cleveland Browns where he played four offensive snaps but did not have a target. In six games with the Steelers in 2019, Cain had 5 receptions on 6 targets for 72 yards.
The Steelers also elevated lineman Anthony Coyle as a standard elevation. Coyle has been active for the Steelers in two games this season but has not seen the field. Used as a Covid elevation in Week 13, Coyle was still eligible to be a standard elevation for Week 17 unlike Matthew Wright.
Stay tuned to BTSC for continued coverage as the Steelers travel to Cleveland to face the Browns in their regular season finale.