BOSTON (CBS) — The flu has reportedly invaded the Pittsburgh Steelers’ locker room. Tight end Ladarius Green and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey are among the as many as 15 Steelers players who have been infected with what ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler described as a “24-hour flu bug.”
The infected players certainly suffered setbacks in their preparation for the AFC Championship Game against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, but there’s no guarantee that they will still be sick during the game. But if they do have to play through the flu, former Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin believes it would have real, adverse effects on their ability to play at their best on Sunday.
Colvin believes that because he knows from experience. He told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Friday that the flu (and flu medication) can negatively affect your strength and ability to stay hydrated during games if you have to play with it.
“I’ve been in that situation, and yes, it can affect you,” said Colvin. “Because when you’re on medications, it dehydrates your body. It doesn’t matter if you’re on over-the-counter medication or something from a specific doctor. It dehydrates you and it can take a toll on game day, because [you lose] those extra fluids, the strength that you need to finish a game.
“You get caught in a 12, 13-play drive [with the flu], it can definitely change the game for you.”
Colvin hearkened back to the 2006 AFC Championship Game, in which several Patriots were affected with the flu during the week of preparation and/or during the game. According to Colvin, he and cornerback Ellis Hobbs were among at least “six or seven” sick Patriots. Colvin said he went to the locker room to get an IV during the third quarter, and that the Patriots had the lead at the time only to have lost it by the time Colvin returned to the sideline.
There are no reports that the flu has infected Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger or wide receiver Antonio Brown. But Pittsburgh has already invited questions of how much the flu affected the team if they are sluggish on Sunday. Colvin believes it will be a factor.
Colvin also spoke about the back-and-forth between Julian Edelman and Roethlisberger and the ways coaches find ways to motivate players. Listen to the full podcast below: