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Steelers could still have more Saturday positives

NFL: NOV 24 Steelers at Bengals

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 24: A Pittsburgh Steelers helmet during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals on November 24th 2019, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The possibility of a full-blown Pittsburgh coronavirus outbreak increased on Saturday when word emerged that running back James Conner and special-teams coordinator Danny Smith tested positive. It remains to be seen whether the situation will, based on Saturday’s full scope of COVID-19 testing, get even worse.

As one league source explained it, it’s believed that Saturday’s positives resulted from point-of-care testing, and that the off-site PCR test results could trigger even more positives, once the results are returned.

Pittsburgh gets its PCR figures much later than other teams, given that the Steelers aren’t as close to their testing lab as other teams. It’s believed that the Steelers won’t get their results from Saturday’s tests until midnight or later.

Most teams don’t perform point-of-care testing on all players. In Pittsburgh’s case, it’s possible that Conner was in close contact with the three Steelers players who landed on the COVID-19 reserve list on Friday. This could mean that other players who weren’t deemed to be in close contact may end up testing positive, based on Saturday’s off-site PCR testing.

In other words, Tuesday night’s game -- which landed there because of a Baltimore outbreak -- could be bumped again, due to the ongoing Pittsburgh outbreak.