AFC North Notes: Ravens, Steelers, Bengals

The RavensSteelers rematch is no longer a guarantee to follow the customary Lions and Cowboys contests on Thanksgiving. With the Ravens having five coronavirus positives among players and the Steelers at four, Adam Schefter of notes that more cases will result in the NFL moving the game off the Thanksgiving schedule (Twitter link). It is not known how many more positive tests between these franchises would cause the NFL to move the game, but given its time slot and the fact the league has resisted postponing games since Week 7 would make this a game difficult to move. However, this situation may be close to producing a postponement. In addition to five Ravens players having tested positive, Mark Maske of the Washington Post notes five Ravens staffers also have in recent days (Twitter links). Both the Ravens and Steelers encountered virus issues earlier this month but played their respective games as scheduled.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • The Ravens are working to determine if these are connected or isolated incidents part of a spread in the Baltimore community, per Tom Pelissero of (on Twitter). The team remains on track to leave for Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
  • More COVID-19 issues have hit the Bengals‘ coaching staff. Defensive line coach Nick Eason tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the team to go through contact tracing, Pelissero notes (on Twitter). This followed multiple games of Cincinnati coaches being sidelined. Cornerbacks coach Steve Jackson, wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell and safeties coach Robert Livingston missed the Bengals’ Week 11 game due to COVID protocols; linebackers coach Al Golden and senior defensive assistant Mark Duffner did not coach during the team’s Week 10 game. Considering the volume here, this is a situation to monitor ahead of Week 12.
  • As of now, the Bengals’ Joe Burrow-less quarterback plan consists of Ryan Finley as the starter and recent practice squad cog Brandon Allen backing him up. But the team is scrambling for depth. The Bengals worked out ex-Browns QB Kevin Hogan and Alex McGough on Tuesday. Hogan was last with the Broncos from 2018-19. He failed to make Denver’s 53-man roster in ’19, when the team used Allen as its backup. The Bengals should be expected to sign a quarterback to their practice squad.
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