The Steelers will be without Joe Haden for Week 17 and likely for the first round of the playoffs.
The focus now is on gearing up for a home playoff game next week. Unfortunately, the team received terrible news Saturday in the form of a positive COVID-19 test for Joe Haden. He is now out Sunday and likely longer.
Haden tests positive for COVID
Haden testing positive now means he should also be out next week for the Wild Card round of the playoffs. This is a brutal blow to the veteran who has played in 14 games this season. Of course, the main concern is his health and that he doesn’t face any serious complications.
Next up is conducting contact tracing with the Steelers organization. Positive COVID-19 test results have ramped up this week and even the Steelers’ Week 17 opponent, the Browns, is dealing with a number of positive tests.
Steelers fans knew something was up when Haden sent out an ominous tweet Saturday morning.
Cornerbacks Cameron Sutton and Mike Hilton will now have to step up not just Sunday, but in next week’s playoff opener as well.
This season is a unique one and we have now reached the point where any positive test is going to result in a player missing a playoff game. The NFL did not want to do a bubble format and unfortunately, players are going to miss time.
Haden has been a key piece in the Steelers defense since being let go by the Browns and signed by their rival in 2017. He made the Pro Bowl last season and his absence could loom large. Let’s hope he gets through this without any complications and can return if the Steelers advance.