The seven players in question are:
CB Mike Hilton
FB Derek Watt
QB Josh Dobbs
TE Zach Gentry
OT Derwin Gray
DE Isaiah Buggs
DT Carlos Davis – rookie
Both Hilton and Watt were ruled “out” for the Titans game late last week, with shoulder and hamstring injuries, respectively.
The good news is that offensive guard David DeCastro and wide receiver Diontae Johnson are available to start today, with DeCastro coming off an abdominal injury and Johnson recovered from his back injury. Linebacker Jayrone Elliott will play for the first time this season, having been activated from the practice squad on Saturday along with running back Trey Edmunds.
Meanwhile, Jordan Berry will be the punter for the Steelers today. He was re-signed late last week after the team elected to part ways with Dustin Colquitt, who had the second-worst average net through the first six weeks of the season. Berry was the team’s punter from 2015-19, but was released prior to the 2020 season in favor of Colquitt.
As has been the case for every game this season, the Steelers will go with only two active quarterbacks, starter Ben Roethlisberger and backup Mason Rudolph.
Tennessee Titans Inactives
As for the six inactive players for the Tennessee Titans, the list is headlined by rookie offensive tackle, Isaiah Wilson, the team’s first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft (29th overall out of the University of Georgia). Wilson has yet to appear in a game this season.
The other five inactives are:
DL Matt Dickerson
OL Daniel Munyer
LB David Long
OLB Derick Roberson
S Joshua Kalu
Titans Punished for COVID-19 Violations
On Sunday morning Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network and NFL.com reported that the Titans have been fined $350,000 for COVID-19 protocol violations, noting that the NFL and NFLPA have now “turned their attention to lapses surrounding multiple positive COVID cases with the Las Vegas Raiders.”
According to Rapoport and Pelissero, the fines are for failure to comply with mask wearing requirements and “insufficient clear communication regarding workouts outside the facility.”
No individual members of the organization—including head coach Mike Vrabel and general manager Jon Robinson—were disciplined in any way, this despite the league threatening harsh penalties for COVID-19 violations that lead to positive cases that necessitate adjustments to the NFL schedule.
The Titans have reportedly been advised that further violations will result in escalated discipline, which could include loss of draft picks or even the forfeiture of a game.
All in all, the Titans had 24 positive cases among players, coaches and team personnel, which led to the postponement of the team’s October 4th game against the Steelers, which was ultimately rescheduled for today, October 25th.
Today’s game will be the first road game this season in which the Steelers will play in front of a visiting team’s fans.
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