The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to host the Cleveland Browns in Week 17 in a pivotal game. The Steelers are 7-7-1 and a half game behind a number of teams for the final playoff spot in the AFC. Meanwhile, the Browns are 7-8 and only one game back. Both teams need this game.
The Browns have dealt with their fair share of COVID-19 related injuries. As they look to get healthier, the Steelers were hit with bad news Friday. According to ESPN NFL Nation Steelers reporter Brooke Pryor, Pittsburgh placed lineback Joe Schobert and defensive lineman Chris Wormley onto the COVID-19 reserve list.
Steelers place LB Joe Schobert and DL Chris Wormley on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Those are a significant losses for the defense.
Also placed DL Daniel Archibong on the PS/Reserve COVID-19 list.
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) December 31, 2021
Those are big blows to a defense that is already reeling. The Steelers have been shredded the last few games. Three weeks ago, the Minnesota Vikings and Dalvin Cook ran all over the Pittsburgh defense. Then last week, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense did whatever they wanted, cruising to a 36-10 victory.
The game Monday night takes on even greater meaning as it’s been reported that it might be quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s final game at Heinz Field. Roethlisberger has looked like a shell of his former self this season. He seems to lack any arm strength and has been more prone to turning the ball over than usual.
The Browns are dealing with their own crisis at quarterback. Browns QB Baker Mayfield threw four more interceptions on Christmas Day in a loss to the Green Bay Packers. The organization has not extended his contract beyond 2022, and reports are that they plan on bringing in competition during the off-season.
Without Schobert and Wormley, things should get a bit easier for Mayfield on Monday.