Mike Tomlin confirmed Tuesday that two Steelers players have tested positive for COVID-19, per Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
The 14th-year Steelers coach added that neither player has spent any time at Pittsburgh's facility this offseason. Players who are not rehabbing injuries remain barred from teams’ facilities.
This continues a bad trend for the NFL and the sports world, which saw tennis phenom Novak Djokovic and Denver Nuggets All-Star Nikola Jokic test positive for COVID-19. These non-NFL names follow the likes of Sean Payton, Von Miller, Ezekiel Elliott and Kareem Jackson. Neither Steelers player has been identified.
The Steelers join the Saints, Broncos, Cowboys, Texans, Buccaneers, 49ers and Rams as teams that have confirmed players or other personnel have tested positive for the coronavirus. As of Sunday, around 10 teams had seen positive tests emerge. College football teams have seen numerous players test positive, with some programs suspending workouts because of the virus.
The NFL and NFLPA continue to work toward a solution on this complicated front. The sides are negotiating on players’ return to facilities, how exactly training camps will work as 90-man rosters and dozens of additional personnel convene after the virtual offseason, and the formulation of a plan for the salary cap’s immediate future. The league’s stadium reopening task force is on track to issue recommendations by next week. The NFL has already announced recommendations for social distancing — from mandatory off-field masks to weight-room changes to the suggestion meetings be held outdoors — but because of its roster sizes, the league will be forced to navigate challenges the other major sports do not.