The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday morning. Roethlisberger is one of the four players the team placed on the list, and they will be isolated for five days. Roethlisberger, as well as offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins, running back Jaylen Samuels and linebacker Vince Williams, will not be allowed inside the team's facility during that span.
This news comes before the Steelers — the only undefeated team in the NFL this season — face the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Roethlisberger can be eligible to play on Sunday if he can pass COVID-19 testing. He and the other players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list can take part in virtual meetings. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Roethlisberger did test negative for COVID-19 but is considered a "high-risk" contact after Steelers tight end Vance McDonald tested positive for the coronavirus.
"The Steelers were informed this morning that a player has tested positive for COVID-19," the team said in a statement on Monday when talking about McDonald's diagnosis. "The player immediately was self-quarantined, and the organization continues to be in the NFL's Intensive Protocol. We have been in contact with the NFL and medical advisors to complete the necessary contact tracing. The player will be placed on the team's Reserve/COVID-19 List today."
Roethlisberger's placement on the COVID-19 list comes after he injured both knees in Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys. He got tests done on Monday, and the Steelers are confident he can play this coming Sunday if he passes his COVID-19 tests. Staying healthy has been challenging for the 38-year old as he missed nearly the entire 2019 season with an elbow injury. In December of last year, Roethlisberger went to Twitter to let his fans know that he will be back in 2020 despite rumors of his retirement.
"P.S. Contrary to recent reports out there about my football future and my 'uncertainty' about playing again, I am working hard and am more determined than ever to come back stronger and better than ever next year!" Roethlisberger wrote at the time. This year, the Steelers are 8-0, and Roethlisberger has completed 68 percent of passes while throwing for 1,934 yards, 18 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He also has a passer rating of 101.8, which is his highest total since 2014 when he posted a rating of 103.3.