'This really screwed with the Steelers' preparation for this game'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ray Fittipaldo on why moving the game to Wednesday matters

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Steelers fans were welcomed to December 2020 by the first snow event of the season and vitriol about the schedule and the league’s handling of the game against the Ravens.

Initially set for Thanksgiving night, the rivalry matchup has since been moved to Sunday at 1:15, then Tuesday night at 8 pm and then finally it was moved back once again to Wednesday at 3:40 pm.

Ray Fittipaldo, Steelers beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, joined The Fan Morning Show Tuesday to discuss why moving the game to Wednesday matters for the Steelers preparation, particularly in the case of Ravens running backs JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram being eligible to come over the COVID list in time for Wednesday’s game.

“If you go back one full week to last Tuesday, Mike Tomlin was talking about how JK Dobbins is the featured runner for the Ravens now. He’s a threat not only on the inside but on the outside as well. Then the news breaks later that day, he’s out. He’s got COVID. [Steelers defensive coordinator] Keith Butler is on on Wednesday with us, now it’s Gus Edwards. He’s more of an inside runner, we don’t have to worry about the outside.

Now the Steelers have to go all the way back with one day’s prep time and prepare for JK Dobbins again. Everything they’ve done in the last five or six days preparing for Gus Edwards to be an inside runner and for them to run a certain type of offense, it’s now out the window and you have to prepare for JK Dobbins again.

So, it’s not just the fact that they are getting back so very good players that can help, this really, really screwed with the Steelers preparation for this game.”

That’s just for this game. But, what about moving forward? Should the Steelers consider quarantining a quarterback just in case something crazy happens, so you don’t end up like the Denver Broncos without one for a game?

“Mike [Tomlin] says no. He was asked about that on Sunday.
But, it’s probably not a bad idea. If you were going to pick one guy, you’re not going to disrupt your normal practice routine. So, it’s not going to be Rudolph. Josh Dobbs runs the scout team offense, so you’re not going to want to take Josh Dobbs out of there.

It would probably be Duck if you did it. Just as a last ditch option, ‘hey, a bunch of these guys get sick, we could always play Duck.’ I don’t think it’s a terrible idea.

But Mike is very confident in the protocols that they take at the facility and he doesn’t seem to think they need to do that.”