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Black and Gold Links: Since it’s up to each team, the Steelers are hopeful to have fans in the stands for 2020

It has been a one-of-a-kind offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. Unable to attend most player pro days and participating in the NFL’s first virtual draft, the Steelers keep pushing forward toward a return to football activities. Just because the Steelers are unable to hold their typical OTA’s and the NFL has cancelled the 2020 Hall of Fame Game doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at the Steelers optimism in having fans at Heinz Field this coming season.

Let’s get to the news:

  • The Steelers are operating under the assumption their will be fans at home games in 2020

Steelers ‘optimistic’ fans will be in Heinz Field this fall

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Pittsburgh Steelers are still holding out hope that they will be able to play home games in front of their fans during the 2020 season.

Last week, The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan wrote that the NFL is going to allow teams an opportunity to work out their own seating volume for home games. He says that the league will not mandate a one-size-fits-all policy for attendance.

The NFL will let teams set different attendance capacity limits when the schedule starts in August with the preseason, meaning some clubs could play in front of full, or nearly full stadiums and some before no fans.

“The league communicated to clubs that they follow local health covid-19 guidelines on social distancing rules, which vary greatly state to state… In other words, as of now, the NFL will not dictate capacity thresholds…

When I asked for a response to that post, Steelers director of communications Burt Lauten emailed me on Monday evening, “We will continue to work with health officials around the state while following the proper protocols and guidelines by the CDC when preparing Heinz Field for the 2020 season. At this time, we remain optimistic we will play our home games as scheduled in front of our fans with the understanding that we will follow the NFL and government regulations to maintain the safety of our fans, players and staff.”

The Steelers’ “optimistic” sense about having fans at home games dovetails with the Pirates’ return to PNC Park for workouts this week. And according to the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, Major League Baseball has the ability to allow fans at some point if the war against the virus starts to turn.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


  • One Steelers rookie gave the gift of life to a stranger

A life-saving decision by a Steelers rookie

By: Teresa Varley, Steelers.com

When his phone rang, Christian Montano looked at it skeptically, not knowing who was on the other end.

The Steelers rookie, who at the time was a graduate student and the starting center at Tulane, thought the call was coming from New York, but didn’t know the number or who it could be.

Skeptically he answered it, not sure if he was doing the right thing or not, the same reaction many of us have when we answer a call from an unknown number.

He, however, did the right thing.

On the other end was the man whose life he changed forever.

“The guy said is this Christian Montano?” started Montano. “This is Jim Calhoun, I am your bone marrow recipient.

“I was like, wow, I have to talk to him and stop what I am doing. I had just finished my classes and was back at my apartment. At that point I stopped everything and just wanted to talk to him.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


  • Outlining the Steelers December matchup with the Colts at Heinz Field

Steelers 2020 Breakdown: Week 16, Colts

By: Jeff Hartman, DK Pittsburgh Sports

It seems to be a yearly occurrence for the Colts to visit Heinz Field, and it will happen again in 2020. Instead of Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, like it was leading into the 2019 meeting, it will be Philip Rivers under center. Will this be the last time he and Ben Roethlisberger — two quarterbacks from the 2004 draft class — go head-to-head? Time to break down the matchup.

MATCHUP

Opponent: Colts
2019 Record: 7-9
Overall History (W/L): 25-6, for Steelers
Last 4 Games: 4-0, for Steelers
Opening Line: Steelers (-2)
Date: Sunday, Dec. 27
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Pittsburgh

OUTGOING PLAYERS/ FREE-AGENT LOSSES

TE Eric Ebron
CB Pierre Desir
WR Devin Funchess
OT Joe Haeg
QB Brian Hoyer

RETIREMENTS

N/A

FREE-AGENT ADDITIONS

QB Philip Rivers
DT Sheldon Day
CB Xavier Rhodes
CB T.J. Carrie
FB Roosevelt Nix
TE Trey Burton

PLAYERS VIA TRADE

DT DeForest Buckner

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


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