The Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1) were planning to be without wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell for today’s game against the 8-0 Pittsburgh Steelers. But just prior to boarding buses to Heinz Field, the Bengals announced that three more assistant coaches would miss the game due to COVID-19 related reasons. Those coaches are cornerbacks coach Steven Jackson, linebackers coach Al Golden and senior defensive assistant Mark Duffner.
According to the Bengals, defensive quality control coach Jordan Kovacs will replace Golden and safeties coach Robert Livingston will handle the secondary. Assistant defensive line coach Gerald Chatman has been assigned Duffner’s game duties.
For their part, the Steelers will be without assistant offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, as announced late last week.
Pittsburgh Steelers Inactives
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s inactive list for Sunday’s game against the Bengals includes little in the way of surprises, as three of the five players on the inactive list were labeled as “questionable” coming into the game.
Those three players are slot cornerback Mike Hilton (shoulder), defensive end Isaiah Buggs (ankle), and rookie running back Anthony McFarland Jr., the latter of whom missed practice on Thursday and Friday with an unspecified illness but has not been placed on the COVID-19 Reserve list.
Also inactive for Sunday’s game against the Bengals are:
QB Josh Dobbs, and
LB Jayrone Elliott
Tyson Alualu Returns, Tight End Makes 2020 Debut
But that means that plenty of mission-critical players are active for the Bengals game, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the other three players who were activated off the team’s COVID-19 Reserve list on Saturday.
Also of note is that starting defensive tackle Tyson Alualu returns to the lineup today after missing last week’s game with a knee injury. But with Buggs out, the Steelers will rely on Henry Mondeaux and rookie Carlos Davis for depth. The latter made his NFL debut last week against the Dallas Cowboys.
Meanwhile, with tight end Vance McDonald still on the COVID-19 Reserve list, third-string tight end Zach Gentry will see his first game action of 2020 on Sunday. Also active is rookie safety Antoine Brooks Jr., who was activated to the 53-man roster on Saturday when rookie offensive guard Kevin Dotson was added to the COVID-19 Reserve list.
Cincinnati Bengals Inactives
Meanwhile, the Bengals have six inactive players this week, headlined by running back Joe Mixon and defensive tackle Geno Atkins, the latter of whom is being held out due to personal reasons.
Right tackle Bobby Hart is also inactive, and his backup, Fred Johnson remains on the COVID-19 Reserve list, so Cincinnati’s depth will be tested by Pittsburgh’s pass rush.
The Bengals will also be without placekicker Austin Seibert and cornerback LeShaun Sims, as well as second-year offensive guard Keaton Sutherland.
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