Opinion: Tennessee Titans' COVID-19 outbreak is reality check for NFL

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SportsPulse: Lorenzo’s picks have been like clock work going 2-1 each of the first three weeks of the season. For Week 4 he gives his three locks hoping to finally have the perfect weekend. USA TODAY

The coronavirus has officially dealt the NFL season its most significant blow yet.

After two more positive test results — one by a player, another from a staffer — brought the number of COVID-19 cases within the Tennessee Titans to 11, NFL officials decided to indefinitely postpone this Sunday’s game between Tennessee and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Originally, the league eyed Monday or Tuesday as the makeup date. NFL brass hoped an extra 24-48 hours would allow for additional testing and adequate preparation for the Titans. 

But now, with the outbreak having expanded — and additional positive tests possible — the NFL rightfully has pulled the plug. The rescheduled date remains undetermined, but Week 7 (Tennessee’s original bye week) ranks among the possible scenarios. Moving the game to that date would require some finagling, as Pittsburgh’s schedule calls for it to play Baltimore in Week 7 before the Steelers’ and Ravens’ Week 8 bye. 

But reworking the schedule is a cinch in the grand scheme of things.

It’s of utmost importance that Titans players and coaches, the NFL’s 31 other teams and fans learn a serious lesson on vigilance as the nation continues to try to fend off the coronavirus.

Before we start all the hand-wringing about what Sunday’s postponement will do to our fantasy football teams and sports-betting habits, let’s not forget that the health of human beings — the players, coaches and staff members, and all of their families — has been jeopardized. We still don’t even know what kind of long-term effects lie ahead for people who contract COVID-19. 

And that’s what matters most. 

NFL WEEK 4 PICKS: Can Patriots knock Chiefs from unbeaten ranks?

It’s easy to forget, as too often fans callously fail to view athletes and coaches as people. Instead, they see them as these play-things or dispensable creatures intended for their pleasure. The league’s owners often forget as well. These are their money-makers. Even league officials fall into the show-must-go-on trap of focusing squarely on dollar signs and logistics rather than the human element involved.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel said even his initial talks with NFL officials about the response to the outbreak consisted only of protocol and orchestration.

“I would’ve liked to have heard from the league, ‘How are those individuals are feeling?’ There’s a personal side to this that we look past,” Vrabel said on Tuesday, a hint of agitation in his voice.

So pause for a moment and think better of grumbling about trivial alterations to your modes of entertainment, because there are many layers to this.

Vrabel didn’t concern himself with asking how the coronavirus found its way into his locker room and coaching staff. That was a pointless exercise.

“Nobody is to blame,” he said, emphasizing that the Titans had followed league protocol to the letter. “We’re in a pandemic. Unfortunately, things happen.”

Before the season, chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills stressed that the safety measures put in place by the league would help minimize the spread of COVID-19, but that there was no way to entirely avoid it. 

He was right.

The NFL still has tried feverishly to prevent an outbreak like this.

That’s why the league has so forcefully required coaches to wear masks on the sideline. That’s why the league has aggressively punished those coaches who grew lax with their face coverings during games.

Officials tried to convey to coaches a message of strict accountability and commitment, hoping the coaches would then pass that lesson onto their players and the public. 

Vrabel said on Thursday his team very well could have even more rigid protocols in place once permitted to re-enter their headquarters. The NFL sent a memo later in the day outlining new requirements, including mask-wearing at practices. The league’s bolded instruction was for all personnel to :act as if every person you come in contact with has a [COVID-19] infection and take appropriate precautions.”

League-wide, the message should have come through loud and clear about the fragility of the safety measures previously in place, and about the frightening ease and rate of speed at which the virus spreads. 

The protocols obviously are not foolproof, but to have the best chance of completing the season without interruption, the league also needs all parties involved to understand that they can’t get sloppy — not at team facilities and not in their home and social lives.

There’s no NFL bubble. This isn’t the NBA, where players and team personnel are isolated from the outside world. Parents are going home to their kids and otherwise encountering family members who could have been unknowingly carrying the virus.

An asymptomatic player or coach could have been the one to start the spread — no different than the person at your gym, your kid’s school or even you. 

We shouldn’t assume that reckless behavior led to this outbreak. But it’s always possible that lukewarm adherence opened the door. For instance, while Nashville requires face coverings in public, nearby communities, like Brentwood, where many Titans players reside, do not. If they weren’t already, to avoid another such outbreak, Titans players and coaches may have to go above and beyond what local guidelines required of them. The same applies to teams in other cities.

Fortunately for the NFL and its teams, the Players Association insisted on daily testing back when they held their negotiations with owners over how to stage a season amid a pandemic. The early results were promising, with few confirmed positive tests by players — including none from Sept. 13-19 — in recent weeks. Rapid detection, meanwhile, helped the Titans identify the cases within their team. But despite that daily testing and all thecontact tracing, it still wasn’t enough to prevent a spread.

A game between two teams has been postponed, and their bye weeks align closely enough that the league should be able to reshuffle plans with minimal headaches.

But again, schedule shuffling pale in comparison to health and safety risks.

Hopefully the NFL and its players can learn from this incident and react accordingly. Hopefully all of us can.

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones on Twitter @ByMikeJones and listen to the Football Jones podcast on iTunes.

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Eagles have one healthy wide receiver on 53-man roster

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SportsPulse: Lorenzo’s picks have been like clock work going 2-1 each of the first three weeks of the season. For Week 4 he gives his three locks hoping to finally have the perfect weekend. USA TODAY

PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles were determined not to be stuck in a situation like they were over the final four games of last season, where Greg Ward, a former practice squad player, would be their top wide receiver.

Yet three games into the season, here they are again with their top three wide receivers either out or possibly unable to play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Eagles placed rookie Jalen Reagor on injured reserve Wednesday. Alshon Jeffery is still working back after having foot surgery last December. And DeSean Jackson, who left the game Sunday with a hamstring injury, did not practice Wednesday and is listed as day-to-day.

That’s in addition to tight end Dallas Goedert, who was placed on IR on Tuesday with a broken ankle. 

It got even worse on Thursday as J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and rookie John Hightower also missed practice for unknown reasons.

That left Ward as the only wide receiver on the current 53-man roster practicing Thursday. 

The others were practice squad players Deontay Burnett, Travis Fulgham and Marcus Green. Rookie Quez Watkins, who’s on injured reserve, is practicing this week. He’ll likely be added to the roster in the next day or so.

Last season, the Eagles won their final four games with a depleted wide receiver corps. That’s why quarterback Carson Wentz said he is used to the feeling by now.

“Without a doubt, it can be a resource,” Wentz said about the success last season with unheralded players. “It’s something to look back on and say, ‘How did I get on the same page with some of these guys even though it was a short amount of time to build that chemistry quickly?'”

Ward was the linchpin in that resurgence over the last four games in 2019. He was called up from the practice squad in November after never being on an NFL roster through his previous two-plus seasons.

Over those last four games, all must-wins, Ward had 21 receptions for 209 yards and a touchdown. That included the game-winning TD pass against Washington last Dec. 15.

Ward has continued that this season. He’s second on the team with 14 receptions. He converted two third-downs in Week 1 against Washington and two more in the Eagles’ 23-23 tie against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Ward also hauled in a 29-yard touchdown pass against the Bengals, beating his defender down the sideline.

When the season began, Ward was considered the slot receiver, mostly working the middle of the field, especially on third downs. Ward was not expected to be the top wide receiver. 

Yet there he was against the Bengals on Sunday, leading the Eagles both in receptions (eight) and yards (72).

None of that is a surprise to Wentz.

“Last year when he was asked to step up late in the season, he did an unbelievable job,” Wentz said. “So he’s a guy I have a lot of trust with, a lot of confidence in. He gets it. He was a quarterback in college. He sees the game differently. He plays fast. He understands it. He does a great job man and zone coverage, just knowing were to be and the timing.”

“I can’t say enough good things about how hard he’s worked and how he’s going right now.”

Really, the Eagles didn’t have much choice after Jackson left late in the second quarter with his injury.

For the second half and overtime, the other receivers on the field with Ward were Hightower, in his third career NFL game; and Burnett, himself promoted from the practice squad two days before the game. He was sent back to the practice squad after the game.

Ward knew he had to step up without Jackson, Jeffery and Reagor, just like he did last season.

“I have the same expectations and standards for myself every single week,” Ward said. “We’re hoping those guys play. Regardless of what happens, I’m always going to be ready. I’m going to make sure that I’m on top of my game.”

At the same time, the Eagles haven’t gotten much out of Arcega-Whiteside, their second-round pick in 2019.

Arcega-Whiteside has yet to catch a pass this season after a disappointing rookie season with only 10 receptions for 169 yards. He was on the field for just 18 out of 91 offensive plays against the Bengals, and wasn’t even targeted.

Pederson said Arcega-Whiteside suffered a minor injury in pregame warmups that limited his snaps against the Bengals. On Wednesday, Arcega-Whiteside’s injury was listed as a calf.

“The thing that we look at now moving forward, we’re going to have to find creative and unique ways to use all our players on offense,” Pederson said. “The tight ends, the runners, obviously, with Carson.”

“We’ve done this before. We did it at the end of the season last year. We won the four straight to get us into the postseason, and it appears we’re going to have to do that again.”

Several players don’t practice

On Wednesday, G Jamon Brown, T Jack Driscoll and T Jason Peters sat out with illnesses. DT Fletcher Cox (abdominal), S Rudy Ford (groin), CB Avonte Maddox and CB Trevor Williams also sat out. Those limited were RT Lane Johnson (ankle), C Jason Kelce (rest) and RB Miles Sanders (glute).

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NFL Odds and Predictions: Picking all the Week 4 games against the spread

Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh SteelersPhoto by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Several of the BTSC staff pick all the NFL games both against the spread and over/under point totals

The 2020 NFL season is now underway! With the number of undefeated teams down to seven, only one matchup features two unbeatens in Week 4. Unfortunately, the game between the Steelers and Titans will not occur in Week 4 and the exact date it is set to be played has not been set at this time.

For the 2020 NFL season, six of the BTSC staff (a group I have affectionately named the “BTSC Super Six”) have signed up to pick every game against the spread and the over/under point totals. We are doing things a little different this year and including the Thursday games. Please remember we are not experts on betting or any kind of sports gamblers. We are just a group of Steelers’ fans saying who we think will come through each week.

We are using a new program called Tallysight this season. It will allow us to show picks in a much more “friendly to the eye” manner. To understand how it works, the default tab is for our picks against the spread. To see the over/under picks, click the “O/U” tab in the upper right.

Last week, when picking games against the spread we were all within three games of each other. Shannon grabbed the top spot this week going 10-6 with myself, Bryan, and Geoffrey all coming in one spot behind at 9-7. Bryan continues to win the overall picks against the spread at 31-17 with me coming in next at 28-20. The only person coming in under 50% on the season is Jeff at 20-28.

When it comes to picking the over/under, Michael and Shannon both had a great week going 12-4 with myself, Bryan, and Jeff going 10-6. Although he came in last in Week 3, Geoffrey still leads overall at 27-21 where my 26-22 record is the only other one above .500 on the season.

So here are the picks for the games for Week 4 of the NFL season. Please feel free to list your choices in the comment section below and play along!

Mike Tomlin disappointed in not playing, doesn’t care about potentially playing 13 in a row

NFL: Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh SteelersCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ head coach did not hold back when asked if he cares about playing 13 games in a row.

Thursday was a rough day for the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fan base. What started with optimism the game in Week 4 vs. the Tennessee Titans would be made up either Monday or Tuesday turned south in a hurry.

After hearing of another player and personnel member testing positive for COVID-19, the NFL has decided to postpone the game between two 3-0 teams and move it to later in the season.

When will it be played? No one knows at this point. Sure, there are some options, but the NFL has yet to set an official date for the contest scheduled to be played in Nashville.

Believe it or not, but the Steelers held practice Thursday, even after the news broke of the game being moved out of Week 4. After practice Mike Tomlin met with media, via Zoom, and spoke about how he was truly disappointed his team won’t get to play this week.

This per Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Of course, the next line of questions turned to the fact if the Steelers are to be granted their bye week this Sunday, it would mean 13 straight weeks of games to end the 2020 regular season.

Mike Tomlin’s thoughts on that?

Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports spells it out for your:

The league could suggest the Steelers will still get their Week 8 bye, and create a Week 18 for games which need to be made up, but at this point that doesn’t seem likely. If playing 13 straight games is what the Steelers have to do, then so be it.

As for the bye week itself, the Steelers players won’t be able to leave town like usual since they will still have to undergo daily testing. After the outbreak in Tennessee it makes daily testing even more of a focus moving forward.

So, the Steelers have the weekend off. What next? No one knows, but the NFL is likely to make their plans public sooner rather than later. And we will have all that news, and more, right here at BTSC…so stay tuned!

Putting the Steelers postponed game against the Titans in perspective

NFL: AUG 17 Preseason - Patriots at TitansPhoto by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It wasn’t all that long ago all Steelers’ Nation wanted was football of some kind.

Well, it finally happened.

Going into the 2020 season, nothing in the NFL, or professional sports in general, has been what fans have been accustomed to over the years. There was no preseason. There are no fans in most stadiums and those that have fans are at a very limited capacity. Players are being tested for COVID-19 every day except game days, and all media sessions are done virtually. These are just some of the necessary adjustments in order to have NFL football in 2020.

Now the NFL has had to make the first postponement of a game, not only in day and time, but in which week of the season it will be played. Unfortunately, it is the Pittsburgh Steelers who are one of the teams involved in this game.

Yes, we all know this was not the Steelers doing. They just happen to be the opponent of a team that had a Covid outbreak at their facility.

Yes, we know it sucks. You can’t go anywhere on social media Thursday morning without hearing about how bad it sucks. But you know what? It’s what we (fans, players, coaches, league employees, etc.) signed up for in order to have an NFL season.

I’ve seen rants about the Steelers can’t make the Super Bowl now if their bye week is in Week 4. I’ve also heard rants about the Steelers now having a brutal stretch of games through the middle of their season if the game gets rescheduled in Week 7 and the game against the Ravens gets moved to Week 8. (At the time of writing, no announcement has been made on when the game will be played.)

Is this an ideal situation for the Steelers? Absolutely not! The Steelers were already focused on how their season was laid out in groups of four games and where the bye week fell. Now everything has changed.

But 2020 changed everything.

What hasn’t changed in the NFL this season? Of course there’s a lot that hasn’t changed, but it’s been hard work to keep it that way. Not even a quarter of the way through the season and one game being moved has everyone up in arms? What happened to three months ago when all we wanted was an NFL season at all?

Right now, the NFL is in a very good situation that through a quarter of the season it appears only one game has been affected. One game. Out of 64. That’s 1.56% of the games played so far. Frankly, I think the league is doing pretty well.

More importantly, we’re getting football.

Steelers’ Nation just needs to calm down after the initial knee-jerk reaction to not having a game this weekend. Yes, it throws off of a lot of things. As someone who runs this website along with Jeff Hartman, this throws a wrench in that so much of what we have done and were going to do this week. But we have to adapt. It’s better than not having an NFL season at all.

Teams knew this was going to be the case going into the season. They were going to be times where there would be an unequal competitive advantage. Whenever this was the case with the game happening in Week 4 and the Titans not being able to practice, Steelers fans had no problem with it because they came out on top of the advantage. Now, in order to hold the game at all, we’re concerned that the Steelers are put in a tough spot. They are. But just like everyone else in the NFL, they have to learn to deal with it.

This is the point where I would love to bust out the quote by John Patrick Mason (played by Sean Connery) in the 1996 movie “The Rock” where he talks about losers and winners. Since the quote itself is not appropriate for our classy website, I’ll just keep to the point which was made: Losers whine about the tough circumstances they are put in and how it might inhibit their success. Winners… they win. They overcome. They don’t make excuses.

If the Steelers are a championship team, they will handle whatever adversity is put before them.

Personally, I’m just very happy this Covid outbreak with Tennessee came up on Tuesday and not Saturday. What if the Steelers had made the trip to Tennessee? What if they played the game and one player ended up getting the virus? What happens when that player travels back and didn’t have a positive test right away and the Steelers are dealing with the same situation the Titans are facing? It is much better to not play this game now and only have one game affect the rest of their schedule than to be dealing with an outbreak.

The NFL will learn from this how better to proceed when these types of situations arise. Hopefully the NFL can continue on with the season without any other glitches. The Steelers are going to have to do the same.

The 2020 season is going to be overcoming so much more than getting more points on the scoreboard than your opponent each week. There will be off-field issues to overcome. Competitive balance will be more inbalanced than ever before. But it happens. It’s better than the alternative of no football.

If the worst-case scenario of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Covid world of 2020 is having to move one game for the season, this is not a terrible thing. It could be worse. The glass is half full.

If we were go back 3 to 6 months ago and ask all of Steelers’ Nation if they would take an NFL season knowing this bump in the road was going to happen, I bet the overwhelming majority would sign up for it in a heartbeat in order to have a season.

A game has been moved. The season will continue on. It is what it is.

On to Philadelphia.

Podcast, Know Your Enemy: The Tennessee Titans

Michael Beck, Geoffrey Benedict and break down all the news you need to know surrounding who WAS supposed to be the Black-and-Gold’s next opponent, the Tennesee Titans

It’s time once again to become a scout for the Steelers before their latest game. However, the Week 4 test courtesy of the 3-0 Tennessee Titans will have to come later due to the postponement. But still check out Know Your Enemy. It’s the show where Michael Beck and Geoffrey Benedict break down the upcoming opponent for the Black-and-Gold. This week Mike and Geoff welcomed Hawk and Lock Down from Tennessee Titans Weekly. What kind of threat are Ryan Tannehill, Derek Henry and the Titans? These questions and more will be pondered on the latest episode from the BTSC family of podcasts. As always, it is a good time to talk everything Steelers.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • A look at the Titans
  • Guest Hawk and Lock Down from Tennessee Titans Weekly.
  • Steelers Q&A
  • and MUCH MORE!

Michael and Geoffrey walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-Gold.

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Spotify: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Part 1:


Part 2:

3 games to watch in Week 4 which give perspective to the 2020 Steelers

NFL: SEP 27 Bengals at EaglesPhoto by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There are several NFL games this week which will help get a better understanding of teams the Steelers face later in 2020

It is been a week of uncertainty for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even as I write this article, I’m hoping there’s actually a game date and time by the time this is published (UPDATE: Not yet, but we know it won’t be Week 4). What are the Steelers to do when they don’t even know when they are playing? I know what Steelers’ fans can do and that is to look at other games around the league to help them know a little bit more about their future opponents.

At the suggestion of one of our faithful BTSC community members, I’m going to include a brief rundown of the previous week’s three games in question to see how they helped shape the narrative of the Steelers 2020 season.


Tennessee Titans (31) at Minnesota Vikings (30)

The Titans were tested on Sunday by the Minnesota Vikings who held the lead for the majority of the game. But a late field goal put the Titans over the top as they squeaked out another victory. With the combined record of their three opponents at 1-8, it’s still hard to determine if the Titans are playing to the level they were at the end of 2019.


Cincinnati Bengals (23) at Philadelphia Eagles (23)

Sometimes a tie tells you absolutely nothing while other times it can still give an indication of how a team is playing. The Philadelphia Eagles needed a last-second touchdown to send the game to overtime against the Bengals. With neither team getting the victory, it’s hard to chalk this game up to being two quality opponents as they somehow managed to have both teams emerge with neither of them getting their first win of the season.


Kansas City Chiefs (34) at Baltimore Ravens (20)

This game was a beautiful site for Steelers fans. Watching the Ravens get handled was great to show this team is not the juggernaut some thought they were. The only concern is if the Chiefs showed the Ravens their weaknesses and now they will work to fix them before facing the Steelers in Week 7.


Now that we have closed the page on Week 3 of the NFL season, it’s time to get focused on the next set of games as there is little time in the NFL to dwell on the previous week. For Week 4, here are the three games which could give the most perspective on what the Steelers can expect with some of their future opponents:


Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys

Sunday at 1:00 PM on FOX

Two of the four teams the Steelers play the second quarter of the season are facing off Sunday at 1 PM when the Cleveland Browns visit the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams have had their ups and downs early in the season, so seeing how they can play against each other will help tell the Steelers which team may bring the bigger challenge.


Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team

Sunday 1:00 PM on CBS

Not only is the Steelers biggest competition in the NFC North involved in this game in the form of the Baltimore Ravens, they are playing the Washington Football Team (I still can’t get used to that) and the Steelers face both teams in back-to-back weeks in November. How the Ravens ultimately respond after their game against the Chiefs will show a lot towards how the AFC will shape up in 2020.


Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers

Sunday at 8:20 PM on NBC

Since they are the Steelers next opponent who they will be facing on a short week, the Philadelphia Eagles are still searching for their first win of the season as they travel across the country to take on the 49ers. With the Niners dealing with a lot of injuries, Steelers fans may want to pay attention to see if the Eagles can get things figured out in prime time before heading into the second quarter of the 2020 season.


So there are the three main matchups which can give Steelers fans an indication as to the quality of upcoming opponents in 2020. With just three games to go on so far in 2020, each week helps shape the perspective on teams and what is to be expected of them this season.

So which of these games will be the most telling as it pertains to the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers? Make sure you vote in the poll and give your thoughts in the comments below.

With more positive COVID-19 tests, Steelers vs. Titans is being postponed later in the season

Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee TitansPhoto by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

With more Titans testing positive, the Steelers and Titans game has been postponed until later in the season.

There was hope the Steelers and Titans would be able to play in Week 4. The hope was if the game was pushed back until Monday, or even Tuesday, they would be able to have the game without hurting any team’s preparation for Week 5.

Even this morning it looked as if the NFL and CBS were planning on having the game being played on Monday on national television.

That was all before the Titans received their latest round of COVID-19 test results on Thursday. More positive tests, one player and one personnel member, forced the NFL to push the game back to another week in the season.

This is the official statement from the NFL:

What this means for the Steelers, the Titans, and their scheduled bye week has yet to be determined. This is the first game of the season which will be impacted by COVID-19, and the NFL will be setting a precedent with how they handle this game.

Nonetheless, more teams will be impacted by this decision than just the Steelers and Titans. Teams’ schedules will all be altered to accommodate the change in schedules. Unlike Major League Baseball, who can turn multiple games during the week into a double header to make up games, the NFL will have to seriously consider how they will handle this moving forward.

Will the NFL add a week to the end of the season for games affected by Covid? Will they shuffle around the schedule since right now it is only one game being affected? One possible schedule changed was highlighted by BTSC’s Dave Schofield on Tuesday when the problem first arose:

The Steelers now have their bye in Week 4

If the NFL needs to postpone this week’s game, there is a way to make it work by only affecting one other NFL franchise. First, the Steelers and Titans do not have the same bye week so simply moving the game there is not an option. The Titans bye comes in Week 7 while the Steelers bye occurs in Week 8. The Steelers Week 7 opponent is the Baltimore Ravens, who just so also happen to have a bye in Week 8 as well. It is possible the Steelers could face the Titans in Week 7 instead of the Ravens and move their matchup in Baltimore to the following week. This means the Steelers and Titans would both have byes this coming week in Week 4 and the Ravens bye week would simply be shifted up from Week 8 to Week 7.

Stay tuned to BTSC for further updates as the Steelers new schedule becomes available.

Nike drops the new Air Zoom Pegasus 37 Steelers shoe!

Fanatics

Here’s all the details on this year’s shoe and where you can order a pair.

I have to be honest here. When Nike first started producing NFL themed shoes, I didn’t like them.

I thought they were a giant gimmick, and as someone who trains hard and loves his the Pittsburgh Steelers, I wouldn’t be caught dead in those early prototypes.

However, when I was approached by SB Nation to offer Nike’s latest Air Pegasus 37 shoe on BTSC, I wanted to see how far the shoes have come. And I was stunned. To be honest, these shoes don’t necessarily scream NFL shoe, but have the color scheme for the fan to love everything about wearing them regularly.

The Air Zoom Pegasus shoe is not just extremely comfortable, but also durable for the fitness enthusiast or someone who just wants a pair of black and gold shoes to wear with their game day attire!

Check out the link below to order yours, and the images below show you just what the shoes look like from all angles. There is no doubt you will be noticed as a die hard fan in these new Nike shoes!

NOTE: This shoe is available for men and women as a unisex shoe.

Former Steelers WR Ryan Switzer has found a new home

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland BrownsPhoto by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The embattled receiver has signed with a divisional foe.

Former Steelers wide receiver, Ryan Switzer has signed a deal to become a member of the Cleveland Browns practice squad. Switzer was one of the more notable cuts at the end of Steelers training camp, especially because the organization chose not to offer him one of the veteran player practice squad spots.

Switzer is famously a good friend of Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger and was featured often during Roethlisberger’s documentary “Bigger than Ben” which depicted the rehab of the Steelers’ quarterback. Switzer was right beside Ben from the start of his rehab, and even went out on family outings with the Roethlisbergers. Now an opponent of Ben it will be interesting if Switzer will be able to give any inside information on the Steelers’ offense.

Switzer was placed on waivers by the Steelers back on September 8th, and has now finally signed another deal to get him back into the NFL. Now on his fourth team in four years, Switzer will need to show a new side of his game if he wants any chance to elongate his NFL career.

2018 was a career season for Switzer when he tallied 253 yards on 36 receptions and a touchdown. But his production as a slot/gadget type player fell off in 2019, only mustering 27 yards on 8 receptions. His use in the punt return game also caught the ire of Steelers fans, as Switzer notoriously fair caught nearly every punt regardless of the situation.

Playing time won’t come easy for Switzer as receiver is one of the deeper positions of the Cleveland Browns roster. Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Reshard Higgins all stand firmly ahead of Switzer in the depth chart.

The Steelers take on the Browns on October 18th in what could be Switzer’s return to Pittsburgh. I’m sure whatever type of impact he makes in that game will light the internet ablaze!