10:07 AM ET
Although Ben Roethlisberger was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers are optimistic their quarterback will be available for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The team placed Roethlisberger and three others on the reserve/COVID-19 list after they were deemed high-risk close contacts with tight end Vance McDonald, who returned a positive test for the virus Monday.
“Those guys will be working remotely throughout the week and testing daily,” coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday afternoon. “As long as their tests come back negative, we believe that all four guys have an opportunity to be made available to us on Saturday.”
As high-risk contacts, Roethlisberger, OL Jerald Hawkins, RB Jaylen Samuels and LB Vince Williams must isolate for five days after their last contact with McDonald, and they cannot return to the UPMC Rooney practice facility for at least those five days. They are allowed to participate in team meetings virtually.
All four will be tested throughout the week. The protocols put in place for COVID-19 high-risk contacts have been shown to be especially effective, NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said in a conference call Tuesday. In the past two weeks, three people identified