PITTSBURGH, Penn. (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers placed running back James Conner on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday, while their scheduled opponent next Tuesday, the division rival Baltimore Ravens, added six more players to the list.
Conner is joining three teammates already on the list along with 20 Ravens — they are down to three defensive linemen — casting further doubt on the ability to pull off a game rescheduled from Thanksgiving night to Sunday to Tuesday night.
Conner, who leads the unbeaten Steelers (10-0) with 645 yards rushing and five touchdowns, joins defensive end Stephon Tuitt, defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs and reserve offensive lineman Kevin Dotson on the COVID-19 list.
The Steelers also announced special teams coordinator Danny Smith will not coach on Tuesday due to what the team described as an “illness.” Quarterbacks coach Matt Canada will also be unavailable due to an illness.
The announcement came the same day Baltimore Ravens put outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, right tackle D.J. Fluker, defensive lineman Broderick Washington, offensive lineman Will Holden, and two others — defensive backs Khalil Dorsey and Tavon Young — were on injured reserve before joining the list.
The Ravens already had several starters on the COVID-19 list, including quarterback Lamar Jackson and running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins.
Ferguson has played every game this season at outside linebacker and Fluker was coming off three straight starts at right tackle.
Also on Saturday, the Ravens added receiver Dez Bryant to the 53-man roster and signed defensive back Pierre Desir to the practice squad.
The NFL has few options should the game need be further delayed. The league also moved Thursday night’s match between Baltimore and Dallas to Dec. 7.
The San Francisco 49ers and other teams may need to find a temporary new home after Santa Clara County on Saturday banned all contact sports from holding games and practices for the next three weeks. County officials issued the directives in response to rising cases of the coronavirus in the area. The rules take effect Monday and will last for three weeks.
The 49ers have home games scheduled for Dec. 7 against Buffalo and Dec. 13 against Washington at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The team also practices at that site in the county. The team had no immediate comment on the new rules.
—The Indianapolis Colts will be without running back Jonathan Taylor on Sunday. He is one of three Indy starters sitting out because of COVID-19 when Indianapolis hosts Tennessee for the AFC South lead.
Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner went on the COVID-19 list earlier this week and defensive end Denico Autry has not yet been activated after going on the list last week.
—The Las Vegas Raiders said running backs coach Kirby Wilson won’t coach this week because of COVID-19-related reasons. He will miss the game at Atlanta. Senior offensive assistant John Morton will handle Wilson’s duties on Sunday against the Falcons.
The Raiders currently have three players on the COVID-19 list: running back Theo Riddick, tackle Trent Brown and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner.
——The New Orleans Saints placed starting left tackle Terron Armstead on their COVID-19 reserve list, leaving him ineligible for Sunday’s game against the Broncos in Denver. The Broncos reported no new COVID-19 cases and returned to work a day after canceling practice following back-to-back days with positive test results.
Quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive Thursday and kick returner Deontae Spencer tested positive Friday. Spencer’s infection prompted Broncos coach Vic Fangio to cancel Friday’s practice even though the NFL gave Denver permission to practice.
Fangio said Saturday there were no new COVID-19 cases and the team resumed on-field preparations for its game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.