Pittsburgh Steelers' starting free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has tested positive for COVID-19, according to ESPN's Kimberley A. Martin. If vaccinated, Fitzpatrick would be permitted to re-join the Steelers if he has two negative tests at least 24 hours apart. If he is not vaccinated, he will be isolated for a period of 10 days which would include the Steelers' Week 11 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Fitzpatrick is one of the Steelers' most valuable players. An All-Pro in each of his first two seasons in Pittsburgh, the former Dolphins first-round pick leads the Steelers with 64 tackles and 44 solo stops through nine games. If he has to miss time, Fitzpatrick would be replaced by rookie Tre Norwood, who played in 39% of Pittsburgh's defensive snaps during Sunday's tie against the Lions.
The Steelers' defense is also dealing with injuries to outside linebacker T.J. Watt and cornerback Joe Haden. Watt is dealing with knee and hip injuries sustained during the third quarter of Sunday's game. Haden left Sunday's game after sustaining a foot injury. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin will likely address both players' injuries during his weekly Tuesday press conference.
Looking to get off of the COVID-19 list is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who missed Sunday's game after testing positive for the virus on Saturday. Roethlisberger will have his first of two COVID-19 tests on Tuesday in order to try to be eligible to play on Sunday night, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The 5-3-1 Steelers are a half game behind the Baltimore Ravens for first place in the AFC North division. The Chargers opened as a 3.5-point home favorite over the Steelers, according to Caesars Sportsbook. After a 4-1 start, the Chargers are 5-4 after dropping three of their last four games.