Nevertheless Mike Tomlin wakes up every day — he didn’t specify, so you might be free to think about Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 or Miles Davis’ “So What?” blaring from his telephone — his first exercise all the time is identical: worrying about COVID.
“Each morning at 6 a.m., I’m taking a look at my telephone, ready for verification of the day prior to this’s take a look at outcomes,” Tomlin advised reporters throughout his weekly information convention. “Are we within the clear or are we not? And what needed changes should be made? What investigations, if any, should be made? That has been our life — and never solely ours right here in Pittsburgh, however ours collectively as members of the Nationwide Soccer League — since July.”
Tomlin spoke at midday Tuesday, lower than an hour after the Browns revealed that they’d two extra gamers and a number of members of the teaching employees, together with head coach Kevin Stefanski, take a look at constructive for COVID-19. They won’t be able to take part within the Browns’ first playoff recreation since 2002. Stefanski can contribute remotely to pregame preparation however isn’t permitted to interact in teaching the group through the recreation Sunday night time.
Tomlin was requested whether or not the Steelers are reinforcing the message to watch out about avoiding circumstances which may lead to a constructive take a look at.
“It’s one thing that I’ve achieved and now we have achieved since July 20,” Tomlin mentioned. “We don’t want a each day reminder as a result of now we have each day continuous reminders of how fragile these circumstances are.”
The Steelers have had a number of video games impacted by COVID points with different groups, most notably the postponement of their deliberate Week four matchup towards the Titans till halfway by the season after which the on-again/off-again nature of their scheduled Thanksgiving night time recreation towards the Ravens, which finally was performed six days later in a late-afternoon time slot.
They’ve had such gamers as linebacker Vince Williams and cornerback Joe Haden miss video games due to reported constructive assessments.
However at no level have the Steelers handled outbreaks on the stage that impacted the Titans, Ravens and, now, the Browns. The Cleveland observe facility was shut down a number of days previous to the season-ending recreation towards the Steelers and was closed towards Tuesday.
The Browns will likely be with out not solely Stefanski, but in addition guard Joel Bitonio and wideout KhaDarel Hodge, based on Tom Pelissero of NFL Community. Particular groups coordinator Mike Priefer will function appearing head coach. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will take over for Stefanski calling performs.
Tomlin mentioned he maintains “full confidence” in protocols established by the NFL because the league has maneuvered by a 17-week season through which all regular-season video games have been accomplished. He mentioned, nonetheless, the league is taking additional precautions with the playoffs, increasing testing availability to “these round us — family and friends and so forth — in an effort to proceed to isolate this group.” He additionally mentioned there are added precautions concerning these groups which might be touring to play however selected to not itemize these.
The Steelers nonetheless could also be with out Haden and tight finish Eric Ebron towards the Browns. Tomlin declined to specify after they may be eligible to be faraway from the COVID record.
Tomlin was requested what he realized Tuesday at 6 a.m. when he checked his telephone after waking up, whether or not any issues that had not been evident when he left work Monday had developed in a single day.
“With reference to this morning,” he mentioned, “it was an excellent morning.”