The New England Patriots’ Coronavirus outbreak has been under control for more than two weeks now — knock on wood — but they are not the only team dealing with the pandemic. Numerous other players have been sent to the league’s newly created reserve list since then, including Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
The latest big name to join the list is Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is among four players the team moved to Reserve/Covid-19 on Tuesday.
As the club announced in a statement Roethlisberger will join offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins, running back Jaylen Samuels and linebacker Vince Williams on the list and has to be isolated for five days. The news comes one day after tight end Vance McDonald also had to be sent to Reserve/Covid-19, which in turn put his quarterback in the “high risk” category.
Roethlisberger could return as soon as Saturday, but has to go through the NFL’s Coronavirus protocols before being allowed back in — a procedure Patriots players and fans are all too familiar with: a total of eight players were moved to the reserve list in October, including New England’s own starting quarterback Cam Newton.
Newton had tested positive for Covid-19 but never developed any symptoms. Still, he had to sit out one game and has struggled the first three weeks after his return. A similar development in Pittsburgh could alter the AFC’s playoff picture quite a bit considering that the Steelers are the current number one seed after winning all eight of their games so far this season.