4 biggest causes of concern for Steelers vs. Bengals Week 10
Steelers on the COVID list
Presently, the biggest cause for concern this week is the Steelers players that have been put on the COVID reserve list. As of this writing, the Steelers have one player that has tested positive for COVID (Vance McDonald), and four additional players that have been but on the reserve list due to contact (Ben Roethlisberger, Vince Williams, Jaylen Samuels, and Jerald Hawkins). To be clear, the four names on the list due to contact could very well play on Sunday, but the fact that they have to be on this list during the week doesn’t help.
While losing a player like Samuels or Hawkins for the week isn’t the end of the world, and even Williams has an obvious substitute in Avery Williamson, losing Roethlisberger would be a disaster. The Steelers saw what a season was like without their starter last year, and it isn’t something anyone should want to see more of. If Roethlisberger can’t suit up, the odds of a loss will skyrocket.
Even if any/all of these players suit up, they will be without a week of practice before the game, further limiting them. While a Roethlisberger without a week of prep is still a better option than any of the Steelers backups, it is far from ideal considering the tough matchup. The loss of players to the COVID reserve list will be a big talking point going into the week, and if the Steelers struggle, it may be a key reason why.