A day after placing three players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Pittsburgh Steelers have more positive tests, including one from running back James Conner, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday.
They are awaiting the results of a rerun test, but Conner is in good health at this time, the source said. He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday afternoon, the team announced.
According to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol, Conner, a cancer survivor, would be out for at least 10 days, unless he is asymptomatic and receives two consecutive negative PCR virus tests, at least 24 hours apart and receives permission from the team doctor, and infection control for sports.
A 10-day isolation would put him out for both Tuesday’s game against the Ravens and the following Sunday’s game against Washington. The team will conduct contact tracing to determine Conner’s contacts.
With Conner out, the Steelers will likely turn to second-year back Benny Snell Jr. as the starter against the Ravens.
Snell rushed for 113 yards on 19 carries after taking over for an injured Conner in the season-opener against the New York Giants, but his role has been fairly limited since. He scored a touchdown against Jacksonville last week, and he has three touchdowns and 195 rushing yards on the season.
The Steelers’ running back room was further depleted with backup Jaylen Samuels also ruled out for Tuesday’s game with a quad injury. That leaves the Steelers with just two healthy active backs: Snell and rookie Anthony McFarland. The team also has former Philadelphia Eagle Wendell Smallwood on the practice squad.
Along with Conner, a coach has also tested positive, sources told Schefter. The Steelers also announced special teams coach Danny Smith and quarterbacks coach Matt Canada will not coach in Tuesday’s rescheduled game because of “illness.”
Defensive end Stephon Tuitt, defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs and offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins were put on the reserve list Friday, while offensive lineman Kevin Dotson went on the list Nov. 14.
The Steelers haven’t practiced since Wednesday after coach Mike Tomlin canceled practice Thursday, Friday and Saturday following the changes to their schedule.
The Ravens on Saturday placed six more players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, bringing the total to both teams to 25 players on the list.
ESPN’s Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.