Steelers starters out with COVID as well

While Baltimore is out several players, key starters expected to miss for the Steelers

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – While there is no debating that Baltimore is the hardest hit with COVID-19 cases, the Steelers do have a few key players who will miss the game against Baltimore on Tuesday.

Leading rusher James Conner is out, placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday and starting defensive end Stephon Tuitt will miss, placed there on Friday.

“We’re going to utilize all the players at our disposal,” head coach Mike Tomlin said of filling in for Tuitt.  “We will distribute those reps among the group. The

strength of the pack will be the pack in that regard. You talk about a guy like Tuitt and the impact he makes, it’s not a one-man job. It’s an all-man job.”

“Obviously, it’s going to be tough to replace a guy like Tuitt and a guy like [Isaiah Buggs-also on the COVID list], but, you know, we have to be ready for these situations,” said captain Cam Heyward.  “We knew it wasn’t going to be perfect throughout the whole year. We understand injuries and different things happen throughout the season, so for us, we all have to step up.”

“I have to step up, Tyson [Alualu] has to step up, [Chris] Wormley, Henry [Mondeaux] and Carlos [Davis] as well.
I’m looking for the guys to rally around each other and play good as a unit.”

Heyward said they’ve been preparing since training camp for these scenarios and will have the back-ups ready.

As for missing the 645 rushing yards and 145 receiving yards and five touchdowns from James Conner.

“I have no reservation about Benny Snell as a featured runner,” Tomlin said.

Snell rushed 19 times for 113 yards in the season opener against the Giants, however has only 82 yards total for the rest of the season.

Rookie Anthony McFarland has 20 rushes for 67 yards and while he has a 142 yard game against New England in 2018, Jaylen Samuels has carried it only three times for eight yards this season.

Once again its next man up.  We’ll see a lot of ‘next men’ in Tuesday game.