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The Baltimore Ravens’ COVID-19 woes are far from over.
A day after the Ravens’ Thanksgiving night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was postponed due to the team’s COVID-19 outbreak, they reportedly received news on Thursday morning that one more player and several staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 26, 2020
With just one player testing positive, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Sunday’s game is still going forward as scheduled for now.
Will Ravens-Steelers game happen Sunday?
While it’s probably a relief for the Ravens that they don’t have to play on Thanksgiving, their game against the Steelers was only pushed back three days to Sunday. The players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday — running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram, defensive tackle Brandon Williams — could potentially be activated in time for Sunday’s game, as could tight end Eric Tomlinson (who was added to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday), but that’s only if they’ve continually tested negative.
However, if those players tested positive even once since Tuesday, there’s no way they can be ready for Sunday’s game. Defensive end Calais Campbell and lineman Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura were placed on the list on Wednesday, so there’s no way they’ll play on Sunday. And if any players tested positive or were identified as high-risk contacts on Wednesday, the Ravens will also be without them.
So even with the three day reprieve, it’s still going to be a mess. It’s likely the Ravens will be playing with a hobbled squad on Sunday.
Will NFL investigate Ravens’ COVID-19 outbreak?
There have been no reports thus far that the NFL will be investigating the Ravens for violating the league’s joint COVID-19 protocols, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It’s been at least a month since there’s been a team outbreak that was so severe it required the NFL to actually postpone a game, and that was during the Tennessee Titans’ team-wide outbreak.
The Titans were reportedly investigated and disciplined by the NFL for failing to follow the protocols, including mask wearing, social distancing and gatherings outside the facility. Considering how the outbreak has affected the Ravens (both players and staff) it’s entirely possible that they could be investigated as well.
The Ravens may have gotten out in front of a possible NFL investigation by disciplining a staff member for failing to follow the protocols. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, a strength and conditioning coach was punished for not reporting symptoms to the team and for failing to consistently wear a mask and tracking device.
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