Ben Roethlisberger Activated, Steelers Rookie Placed on COVID-19 List

Carlos Dunlap Ben Roethlisberger

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers tries to outrun the tackle of Carlos Dunlap during a Bengals-Steelers game at Heinz Field.

On Saturday the Pittsburgh Steelers activated quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and three other players from the COVID-19 Reserve list, namely, offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins, running back Jaylen Samuels and linebacker Vince Williams. All three were placed on the list this past Tuesday by virtue of being “high risk” close contacts of tight end Vance McDonald, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

“I am doing good. I feel great,” said Roethlisberger, after the team completed an extended walk-through on Saturday. “My body enjoyed the week off. My mind from teaching pre-K did not enjoy the week off. It was fun to be home with [my kids], but I definitely missed the guys.”

Roethlisberger went on to note that it was “definitely different” preparing for a game at home as compared to being injured yet still being out on the practice field.

“Typically, when I haven’t practiced, I am at least on the field, behind the quarterbacks, hearing the calls that were made, hearing the play call coming in from the coach, [Maurkice] Pouncey’s calls. Things like that,” he said.

But this week he was reduced to reviewing all of the plays from practice by watching them on an iPad.

That won’t keep him from starting on Sunday against Cincinnati, however, with fellow veteran Vince Williams also likely to see significant playing time against the Bengals, according to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

Kevin Dotson Added to the COVID-19 Reserve List

Meanwhile, Steelers rookie running back Anthony McFarland Jr. remains questionable for the Bengals game, having missed practice on Thursday and Friday with an illness.

On Saturday the Steelers also placed rookie offensive lineman Kevin Dotson on the team’s COVID-19 Reserve list, the move coming a day after he missed practice with an unspecified illness. He’s been replaced on the 53-man roster by rookie safety Antoine Brooks Jr., who was elevated from the practice squad.

Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals will be the first game that Dotson has missed this season. Brooks was elevated from the practice squad to the active/inactive roster for Weeks 8 and 9, then reverted back to the practice squad with having to pass through waivers.

Cincinnati Bengals Roster Moves

Meanwhile, the Bengals also made more than a few roster moves on Saturday. For starters, the team activated third-year defensive end Sam Hubbard from injured reserve. Hubbard has missed the last three games with an elbow injury.

At the same time, the Bengals moved wide receiver John Ross—a former Top Ten draft pick—to injured reserve with a foot injury.

Cincinnati also placed cornerback Darius Phillips on injured reserve and promoted cornerback Jalen Davis from the practice squad. The team also promoted guard Quinton Spain, wide receiver Stanley Morgan and defensive end Kahlil McKenzie from the practice squad. All four of the elevated players will automatically revert back to the practice squad after the game against the Steelers.

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