The Pittsburgh Steelers placed defensive back Arrion Springs on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Arrion Springs was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, meaning that he has either tested positive for the virus or is in quarantine after having close contact with it.
Springs, a former XFL player who has spent time with five other NFL teams, will likely have to miss the start of training camp as a result. The team announced Springs’ designation via Twitter, including an explanation behind the reserve/COVID-19 list in the replies.
Will the Steelers miss Arrion Springs?
Springs, a free agent addition from the XFL, signed with the team in April, but it likely a long shot to make the final roster. He has spent most of his time in the NFL on practice squads, and missing the beginning of training camp is far from ideal for a player who still needs to prove himself to the coaching staff.
However, Pittsburgh is fortunate that it was able to identify the risk associated with Springs coming to camp. Training camps could be a hotbed for coronavirus infections with teams staying in close quarters, so Springs waiting elsewhere until he is medically cleared will help the team stay healthy.
For a team like the Steelers with playoff expectations, limiting contact with the coronavirus will be crucial to on-field success. Teams will likely have a greater degree of roster uncertainty than ever in 2020, so testing will be a crucial tool in ensuring that the season goes smoothly.
With the NFL opting not to use an NBA-style “bubble,” the burden will fall on teams’ shoulders to be vigilant and honest about coronavirus risk. With the MLB already experiencing clusters of positive tests, some have begun to doubt the viability of the NFL’s plan.
However, if teams can pinpoint and isolate cases like the Steelers have apparently done with Springs, the NFL could have a somewhat normal season in the fall.