Mike Tomlin says there have been two positive COVID-19 tests on the football team, though those players haven’t been in the facility.
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) June 23, 2020
“We have had two positive tests,” Tomlin said. “It’s guys that are not in our facility. They have gone through the appropriate protocol and are back to work. I’m talking about dating all the way back to the spring of this thing there have been two incidents on our football team.”
Mike Tomlin on the Steelers’ Depth Chart
In other news, Tomlin also revealed that position-flexible offensive lineman Matt Feiler will probably “take the first snap” at left guard, something of a reveal in that most observers assumed that Feiler would remain at right tackle.
This could be indicative of a certain degree of confidence in tackles Zach Banner and Chuks Okorafor, though Tomlin attributed the favored status to having experience in the Steelers’ system.
“We don’t have time to mess around in this environment,” Tomlin said. “We lost nine hundred snaps like everybody did with the virtual offseason. You’ve got to give the benefit of the doubt to people that have been here, at least as a basis to begin. That is the way we are going to begin the training camp process, knowing that the process is going to be an abbreviated one. Those that have experience and have been a part of this thing are probably going to have a leg up as a basis to begin.”
Building on that line of thinking, Tomlin also said that veteran Tyson Alualu would begin at the top of the depth chart at nose tackle. This begins to answer the question: What’s the Steelers’ plan at nose tackle?
“With the lack of opportunity for learning in the offseason and teaching, we’re acknowledging as a staff we have to make some quick decisions and then roll from there,” Tomlin said. “Ty is going to take the first snap at nose guard. We’ll work from there.”
Mike Tomlin on His Outlook for 2020
Meanwhile, Mike Tomlin is optimistic about the prospect that the Steelers and the rest of the NFL will be playing games in 2020, in part because of what he has seen and heard as an NFL insider.
“I’m hopeful. I am always an optimistic person,” Tomlin said. “When you are part of the process, I sit on committees, I’ve had intimate conversations with logistical people and professionals. There is probably greater comfort when you are part of the process than when you are on the outside, so it allows me to be optimistic about things.”
The Steelers are scheduled to open the 2020 preseason with the Hall of Fame game against the Dallas Cowboys on August 6.
The Steelers’ regular season schedule begins on September 14 with a Monday night game against the New York Giants. The team’s home opener comes in week two vs. the Denver Broncos.
Follow the Heavy on Steelers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!