On Friday evening—just eight days before he is scheduled to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame—former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu announced via tweet that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Polamalu went on to note that feels well and is working with the Hall of Fame in hopes of still being able to attend next weekend’s ceremonies.
“We are disappointed for Troy right now and pray for his quick recovery with no complications,” said David Baker, President & CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in a press release shared with The Canton Repository, among others. “We’ll work with him to make sure he’s honored as an enshrinee the way he should be–and that’s mindful of others in the Centennial Class, fans and everyone else in attendance. He had an incredible football career and will have an equally incredible career as a Hall of Famer.”
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Polamalu’s Enshrinement Has Already Been Delayed by a Year
Troy Polamalu was elected to the Class of 2020 in his first year of eligibility, but his enshrinement—along with that of former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher and former Steelers safety Donnie Shell—was postponed by a year because of the pandemic.
The Class of 2020 is slated to be enshrined on the evening of Sat. Aug. 7 (6:30 p.m. ET), with the Class of 2021 going in on the evening of Sun. Aug. 8 (7:00 p.m. ET).
In mid-May, Polamalu announced that former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau would be his presenter. LeBeau, 83, is already a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, having been enshrined with the Class of 2010.
If Polamalu cannot make the trip from his home in southern California to Canton, it will be truly disheartening for Polamalu, his family, his fans and the entire Pittsburgh Steelers organization. Polamalu has remained largely distant from the team since he retired in 2015. It was just two weeks ago that he said he planned to return to Heinz Field this season for the organization’s Hall of Honor ceremony.
Polamalu is part of Hall of Honor Class of 2020–along with fellow ex-Steelers greats James Farrior, Greg Lloyd, Mike Wagner and Dwight White—but has yet to be formally added to the Hall of Honor, as last year’s ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic. Polamalu played for the Steelers from 2003 through 2014 and earned Pro Bowl honors eight times.
On Friday the Steelers announced that they plan to reveal the members of the Hall of Honor Class of 2021 on Sat. July 31 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Patriots Signing Former Steelers Tackle Jerald Hawkins: Report
In other news from Friday, ESPN NFL Nation reporter Mike Reiss reports that the New England Patriots are signing former Steelers offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins.
The Patriots had Hawkins in for a visit earlier this week.
Hawkins is a former fourth-round pick of the Steelers who played for the team from 2016-18 and also in 2020. In between he spent time with both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans.
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