When the Pittsburgh Steelers added inside linebacker Vince Williams to the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday, there was no indication whether the eighth-year veteran had tested positive for the virus or not.
But on Sunday Williams sent several tweets from his Twitter account that suggest he has the virus—and that it’s hitting him hard.
First, he lamented being in quarantine and “isolated from everyone I love,” even as his teammates were traveling to Buffalo for the biggest game of the 2020 season.
A tweet that followed shortly afterward seemed to indicate that the virus has been making it difficult for him to breathe, likening its impact on the lungs to the feeling experienced by an extraordinary heavy smoker (of both menthol cigarettes and cigars).
At the moment, Williams is the only Steelers player on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list, with center Maurkice Pouncey and running back James Conner having been activated off the list earlier this week.
But Williams plays a position where the Steelers have been decimated by injury, with Devin Bush long-since out for the season with a torn ACL and backup Robert Spillane added to the injured reserve list on Saturday (knee).
Against the Bills, the Steelers figure to rely heavily on mid-season trade acquisition Avery Williamson, who will start and reportedly wear the green dot (on his helmet), meaning that he will call the plays against the Bills.
But beyond Williamson, there isn’t much depth. The Steelers could utilize converted safety Marcus Allen in a middle linebacker-like role. Also, practice squad linebacker Tegray Scales has been elevated for the Bills game and could see action, even though he was signed just a month ago.
Steelers Tight End Vance McDonald Quarantined for 16 Days
As for Williams, he’s now in the midst of a quarantine situation probably not unlike that recently endured by Steelers tight end Vance McDonald, who recently recounted his experience to ESPN staff writer Brooke Pryor.
“At the time, I was miserable because I couldn’t see my family for 16 days,” McDonald said of his quarantine. “I couldn’t come in here [to the Steelers’ facility] for 16 days. But I made it through,” he said, noting that his symptoms weren’t as severe as many others experience.
According to Pryor, “McDonald and his wife set up a checkpoint [on the family farm where they live] where she could drop off food and clean clothes without being exposed.”
So, for more than two weeks, McDonald’s only companion was the family’s German shepherd, Nemo, who was acquired from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger earlier this season. You may recall that Big Ben’s dog, Dakota, had seven puppies over July 4th weekend.
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Steelers Clinched Playoff Spot on Sunday Afternoon
While the Steelers were getting ready to take on the Bills on Sunday Night Football, the Kansas City Chiefs (12-1) defeated the Miami Dolphins, 33-27, ensuring Pittsburgh a spot in the 2020 postseason.
That means the Steelers will be in the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
If Pittsburgh beats Buffalo on Sunday and the Ravens beat the Browns on Monday night, the Steelers will clinch the AFC North title.
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