If you’re wondering why many Pittsburgh Steelers players are so angry over the NFL’s news their game against the Baltimore Ravens has been postponed to Thursday, it’s costing them several days off. According to this tweet from NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala Mike Tomlin planned on giving the team Friday through Tuesday off to make up for their lost bye week earlier in the year.
Mike Tomlin had told his players they’d play the #Ravens tomorrow and then be off till Wednesday, making up for the fact that their first “bye” was only three days. You think the #Steelers were annoyed when the #Titans outbreak affected things? Just wait… https://t.co/zctINtcz5y
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) November 25, 2020
With the game now taking place on Sunday, that’s not going to happen as planned.
Pittsburgh lost their originally scheduled Week 7 bye week after the Titans’ game was postponed and moved to Week 7. The Steelers didn’t have to play during Week 4 but had practiced all week and then Mike Tomlin elected to practice the following Monday heading into Week 5. So while the Steelers didn’t step into a stadium, they didn’t have time off either.
This upcoming week would’ve been a perfect bye week substitute. Taking advantage of the ten day rest from Thursday to Sunday. Play the Ravens on Thanksgiving, let the team have the holiday weekend off, throw a couple extra days their way to rest and relax and get back at it for practice Wednesday and prepare for Washington.
Now, their schedule is screwed up. Again.
The negative reaction from guys like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Eric Ebron, two of the most cheerful players in the locker room, is understandable. The NFL is a long season and this year has been a greater challenge than any other. Getting away from the grind of football for a few days is valuable time for players both physically and mentally. The upside here is the team may have Thanksgiving off, though it’s unclear how Tomlin plans to adjust the team’s schedule leading up until Sunday.
I’m sure when the Steelers clinch the #1 seed and first round bye, the league will find a way to take that away, too.