While Steelers Remain at Full-Strength, Stars Around the NFL opt out at Deadline
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told media members he didn't believe any of his players were going to opt out of the upcoming season due to COVID-19, although they would be supported if they did.
His belief came to fruition.
The NFL's deadline for players to opt out of the 2020 season has officially passed the 4:00 pm ET deadline, as no players from the Steelers chose to take either $150,000 or $350,000 stipend (depending on how at-risk they were deemed). This comes as a slight surprise in cases such as Cam Heyward's, who's asthma was a potential roadblock for the Ohio State product playing in 2020.
However, the Steelers head into the season with all hands on deck, a luxury other teams around the league cannot say. A handful of big names around the league made the tough decision to stay away from the gridiron this summer, including the likes of CJ Mosley, Dont'a Hightower and Nate Solder among many others.
Over 60 players across the league have opted out for the 2020 season, however the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers join Pittsburgh in being the only clubs to not have a player sit out. The New England Patriots have a league-high eight players opting out, while the Cleveland Browns are close behind with five.
Opting out for the 2020 season was not exclusive just for professional players, as we've seen big-time players at the NCAA level in Penn State's Micah Parsons, Miami's Gregory Rousseau, Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley and Minnesota's Rashod Bateman have also chosen not to play this season.
As for the Steelers, business will continue as usual for a team looking to return to the playoffs in 2020. With an expanded playoff field, added weapons to the offensive arsenal and a healthy Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh appears ready to return to action.
As of now, they'll do-so at full strength.