The Steelers have placed Ben Roethlisberger on the COVID-19 list ... but it's NOT because he tested positive.
The 38-year-old QB is reportedly considered a "high-risk, close contact" person -- after Steelers tight end Vance McDonald tested positive for COVID on Monday.
Along with Big Ben, 3 other Steelers were placed on the COVID list for possible exposure -- offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins, running back Jaylen Samuels and linebacker Vince William.
Long story short ... Ben and his 3 teammates will have to isolate for the next 5 days -- and if test results come back negative, they should all be good to play against the Bengals on Sunday.
Until then, the players are not allowed inside the Steelers facility.
As for Vance McDonald, his situation is different since he tested positive on Monday -- he could be required to miss more time, depending on other test results and other factors.
If McDonald was experiencing symptoms -- he must isolate for at least 10 days ... and have 72 hours with no symptoms before he could be allowed to return to the team.
The Steelers are the only undefeated team left in the NFL this season -- and are in 1st place in the AFC North.