Pittsburgh Steelers get help at tight end as Vance McDonald activated

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting some help at tight end going into Thursday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Steelers (10-0) activated veteran Vance McDonald from the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday morning, filling a significant need after backup tight end Zach Gentry went down with a knee injury against Jacksonville on Sunday, leaving the Steelers with one healthy tight end, Eric Ebron, for most of the game.

The Steelers (10-0) placed Gentry, a 2019 fifth-round pick, on injured reserve in a flurry of moves Tuesday morning that also included elevating practice squad tight end Kevin Rader to the active roster.

After missing two games and two weeks of practice following a positive COVID-19 test, McDonald isn't guaranteed to play against the Ravens, but he has been in the building this week and is expected to practice Tuesday.

"He epitomizes what it is to be a selfless football player," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Tuesday. "It's good to have him back; that locker next to me has been vacant for a while.

"He's got more energy than the rest of us right now, which is good to see. We're excited to get everybody back. Anybody that's out for a while, through injury or this, to get them back on the field as a brother and a guy we can use, we're excited for him."