Mike Tomlin's normal Tuesday afternoon press conference was postponed from 12 noon until 6 p.m tonight. The Steelers woke up this morning to find out there were positive COVID-19 tests with their next opponents (Titans). There has been no decision yet in regards to the Steelers game, but Tomlin acknowledged there will be difficulties with COVID-19.
"At times we're challenged and we have to be light on our feet, and we've openly talked about that as a football team throughout this process, and so now we get an opportunity to live it out."
Tomlin says the Steelers still do not have a definitive answer about what the long term prognosis looks like, but the team is still going to prepare like they're going to play on Sunday against the Titans.
"We don't have a lot of definitive answers about long-term, what the prognosis looks like, We've been given a mandate to prepare as if the game is going to be played and played on time, and so that is our mentality. We've gone about today's business from a game-planning standpoint with that mentality, and we intend to push into tomorrow with a normal scheduled Wednesday and our slate of work for a Wednesday."
Coach T says the Steelers will take it day by day and the team has openly talked about this process in 2020. They acknowledged there will be challenges, but they have to stay light on their feet.
"We'll take it day by day, We've talked openly throughout this process that 2020 is going to have its challenges, that we have to be light on our feet, that we have to be ready to adjust and have a hardcore plan. We're ready to live that out. We understand the uncertainty, but we have to have a high level of professionalism and singular focus in spite of that. And those are our intentions."
The Steelers will listen to the medical experts as well as prepare for the Titans and when they get the green light to play the Titans they will go down with the intentions of playing and playing to win.
"We're going to trust the medical experts, If they deem it safe for us to proceed, then we're going to go down there with the intentions of playing and playing to win. I'm sure they are pondering the possibilities as they're gathering information relative to the current circumstance, We, or I specifically haven't been a part of those discussions. We're singularly focused on preparing to play. That's the element of the equation we can control today, and so we better make good use of the day."
Tomlin said once the NFL teams got into a training camp setting there could be some challenges with COVID-19.
"I also was very clear, that once we left the station and we got all teams into a training camp setting, we as a collective, meaning the National Football League, acknowledged that this COVID environment could be challenging to that (sense of fairness). So we all proceeded with that understanding."
The Steelers are dealing with a ton of injuries again. Tomlin said Derek Watt is out with a hamstring injury and Marcus Allen is doubtful to play against the Titans. Diontae Johnson is in the NFL concussion protocol.
"Derek Watt has a hamstring, and he could be classified as out or doubtful if you will. I doubt his participation in practice is going to lead to play in his regard. Marcus Allen has plantar fasciitis. He could be classified as doubtful. If it perks up, his chances are better than Watt's. Diontae Johnson is in the concussion protocol, and the protocol speaks for itself. I won't speculate there. As he goes through the week, his availability will be determined by that process. We feel really good about David DeCastro's participation in practice and him getting back to play. Him and some others, we might limit their participation in practice at the beginning of the week in an effort to get them into the very best physical condition we can get them in and proceed to the next challenge."