<
>

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Joe Haden tests positive for COVID-19, source says

PITTSBURGH -- Cornerback Joe Haden tested positive for COVID-19, a source told ESPN's Dan Graziano, creating a significant hole in the Steelers' secondary with the playoffs just a week away.

Even if asymptomatic, players who test positive must be isolated for at least 10 days, making it likely Haden will miss the first round of the playoffs, along with Sunday's Week 17 game against the Cleveland Browns -- a team dealing with its own COVID-19 situation this week.

A source told Graziano that two Steelers players were deemed high-risk close contacts with Haden. The Steelers placed Haden, tight end Eric Ebron and linebacker Cassius Marsh on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday.

High-risk close contacts must isolate for at least five days. If the players continue to test negative for COVID-19, they could be available for the first round of the playoffs.

On Instagram in recent days, Ebron had posted videos of his and Marsh's families spending time at the Hadens' house.

Haden hinted at the situation with a vague tweet Saturday morning.

Haden, a former member of the Browns who has two interceptions this season, missed a game earlier this year with a concussion.

With Haden out, expect versatile defensive backs Cam Sutton and Mike Hilton to have increased roles. Sutton has been the primary replacement for Haden and fellow starting cornerback Steve Nelson when either has missed time.

The Steelers announced that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, center Maurkice Pouncey, defensive tackle Cam Heyward, linebacker T.J. Watt, safety Terrell Edmunds and place-kicker Chris Boswell would not travel for Sunday's game.