March 1, 2021

Week 5 Blog: Keeping the rhythm going

Staying safe: With positive tests for COVID-19 happening on three NFL teams over the past week, Steelers players are doing their best to keep themselves and their teammates safe during an uncertain time.

And in many cases, that means staying close to home except for the essentials.

“With this situation, the way the world is now, me personally I only go from practice to home and the grocery store if need be,” said linebacker Bud Dupree. “Other than that, it’s kind of like just stay home. Don’t try to do extra like we normally do during the season. Just think about the team first.”

He isn’t alone in being a homebody. Cornerback Steven Nelson is doing what he normally does … spending time with his family.

“Pretty much the same thing I have always done,” said Nelson on how he is keeping safe. “I am a family guy, so I just go and be with my family. I think that is the easiest way to stay away from everybody and isolate yourself.”

Nelson said having the bye this past weekend because of the Titans having positive tests and the game being rescheduled simply meant players stayed in Pittsburgh and had daily COVID testing.

“There is nothing you can really do,” said Nelson of how he spent the weekend. “We still have to get COVID tests. Before guys might have gone home to their offseason homes. There is no need to travel or anything. You just show up, take your COVID test, and go back home.”

While nobody in the NFL wants to have a disruption of their schedule and have things changed, both Nelson and Dupree understood that this is what comes with the 2020 season.

“We embrace it,” said Nelson. “We knew coming into the season there were going to be a lot of ups and downs and unexpected things. We embrace those things and we take them on as we come and prepare as such.”

Dupree said health-wise it would be nice to have the bye when it was originally scheduled in Week 8, closer to the midway point, but he isn’t complaining about it.

“There was definitely uncertainty,” said Dupree. “We didn’t know what was going on. The NFL kind of had stuff at the last moment. We thought we were just going to play another day. The NFL decided we weren’t going to do that, so we had to just roll with the punches.

“Any time you get a chance to relax it’s a good time. We would like to have it towards the middle of the season for our bodies, our bodies aren’t banged up right now. Our legs might be tired. As far as your body and mental state we are ahead of the curve and ready to go.

“We can’t put blame on anything because we don’t know how the virus is spreading right now. There is a lot that plays into that. It’s not a good situation for the whole league for this virus to keep popping up. We just have to fight through it and roll with it to the best of our abilities.”

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