Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was among four Pittsburgh Steelers players placed Tuesday on the team’s COVID-19 reserve list.

The players are on five-day quarantines and would be eligible to play in Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Pittsburgh unless they test positive for the coronavirus, the team said. That means that the players were classified as high-risk close contacts to an individual with the coronavirus, reportedly Steelers tight end Vance McDonald.

The contact came Sunday and the quarantines run Monday through Friday, according to a person familiar with the situation. The players would be eligible to be back in the Steelers’ facility Saturday if they test negative and do not develop symptoms.

The Steelers announced that they also placed offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins, running back Jaylen Samuels and linebacker Vince Williams on the list Tuesday. The COVID-19 reserve list is for players who test positive for the coronavirus and those determined through contact tracing to have been exposed to the virus.

McDonald was placed on the list Monday after the Steelers said earlier in the day that a player had tested positive. McDonald played in the Steelers’ victory Sunday over the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.

Roethlisberger left Sunday’s game temporarily after grabbing his left knee following a hit by two Cowboys defenders. He limped to the Steelers’ locker room just before halftime and was replaced by backup Mason Rudolph. Roethlisberger returned to play the second half. The Steelers are the NFL’s only unbeaten team and are off to the first 8-0 start in franchise history.


BILLS: Bills fans have rallied to support quarterback Josh Allen following his grandmother’s death by donating more than $200,000 to a Buffalo children’s hospital in her honor.

The Oishei Children’s Hospital announced the latest total on its Twitter account Tuesday, two days after Coach Sean McDermott revealed the news of Patricia Allen’s death following Buffalo’s 44-34 win over Seattle. The donations come as the hospital celebrates its third anniversary at its downtown home.

A number of the donations have come in at $17 each in honor of the quarterback’s jersey number. Allen acknowledged the outpouring of support on Twitter, writing: “At a loss for words. Buffalo, I love you.”

Allen has been a big supporter of the hospital and has made regular trips to visit patients during his three seasons in Buffalo.

McDermott revealed that Allen elected to play Sunday after learning of his 80-year-old grandmother’s death the night before. Putting aside his grief, Allen finished 31 of 38 for 415 yards passing, matching a career high set earlier this season, and four touchdowns including one rushing to improve the AFC East-leading Bills’ record to 7-2.

COWBOYS: Dallas rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs will miss several weeks with a broken foo after being injured in the second half of Sunday’s 24-19 loss to Pittsburgh.


The second-round pick out of Alabama had the first two interceptions of his career two weeks ago in a 23-9 loss to Philadelphia. The last-place Cowboys had just one interception on the season before Diggs’ pair.

Dallas has the worst turnover margin in the NFL at minus-13, after two more turnovers without forcing one against the Steelers. The Cowboys gave up more points than in any five-game stretch to start the season in franchise history but have improved in recent weeks.

GIANTS:  The New York Giants activated starting left guard Will Hernandez off the Reserve/COVID-19 list after missing two games.

New York (2-7) on Tuesday also waived cornerback Corey Ballentine, a sixth-round pick a year ago, and added wide receiver/return specialist Dante Pettis to the roster.

Hernandez was placed on the Reserve/COVID list on Oct. 29, four days before a game against Tampa Bay. It ended his career-beginning streak of 39 consecutive starts. Rookie Shane Lemieux replaced him and played well.

Pettis was awarded off waivers last Wednesday, a day after being released by the 49ers after less than three seasons. He had a roster exemption while he was in the COVID-19 protocols.


Ballentine started the first two games this season but saw his playing time diminish as the season progressed. He even lost his job as the kickoff returner to running back Dion Lewis.

Ballentine suffered a tragedy on the night he was drafted out of Washburn University in Kansas. His roommate and teammate, Dwane Simmons, was killed in the shooting at an off-campus party. Ballentine was wounded.

VIKINGS: The Minnesota Vikings placed cornerback Holton Hill on injured reserve with a foot injury that has kept him out of the last four games.

Cornerback Mike Hughes is also on injured reserve with a neck injury that has cost him four games this year. The Vikings began the season with Hughes and Hill as their two primary cornerbacks, but rookies Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler and Kris Boyd have all started games with injuries keeping the lineup in flux.

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