NFL Postpones Ravens-Steelers Due To COVID-19

Thursday’s game between the Ravens and Steelers has been postponed due to a rash of positive COVID-19 tests. Now, the two teams are set to meet on Sunday afternoon, though the league will continue to monitor the situation between now and then.

We learned yesterday that Baltimore was dealing with 10 total coronavirus cases, including five players. As Dan Graziano of reports (via Twitter), the Ravens have actually had seven players test positive over the past three days: RBs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins — which we already knew about — QB Trace McSorley, OLB Pernell McPhee, DE Calais Campbell, C Matt Skura, and G/C Patrick Mekari, all of whom will be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. As such, the league really had no other choice but to push back the game.

Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network points out that the league did not make the decision because the Ravens would have been extremely shorthanded. After all, the players who tested positive won’t be allowed to play on Sunday either. Instead, a number of Baltimore players are (obviously) close contacts with those who tested positive, and the NFL wants to make sure the spread is contained (Twitter link).

Unfortunately, things could get worse for the Ravens. Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the league and the team know how the outbreak began, and there is a chance more players will test positive. By Friday, the NFL expects to know if everything is under control or if the game will need to be postponed again.

If another postponement becomes necessary, this game will likely be the first one set in on the novel Week 18. The Ravens are scheduled to play the Cowboys next Thursday, so the league will not make them play a game on Monday or Tuesday before a Thursday night contest.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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36 comments on “NFL Postpones Ravens-Steelers Due To COVID-19

  1. MoneyBallJustWorks

    well done NFL. Now we have to talk to our family after the cowboys game

    • Oooof

      Why is it a garbage move? If there might be more positive tests rolling in, you really want them playing TOMORROW when they have an alternative?

    • joeyrocafella

      Why? Becuase it’s too safe? Calm down, there are other games on to watch.

    • markdavisbarber

      This is a garbage move again by the NFL and if you are paying attention you should see it.

      The 49ers were forced to play when they had positives, KC was able to bring back players with one negative test, The Raiders had their game VS Tampa moved up to be played before test results came back…. Hell the NFL changed the rules on the COVID policy on a Tuesday, placing 11 Raiders starters on the list, allowing only 8 starters back without practice to play KC.

      The inconsistency in handling this is epic.

    • gozurman1

      They will still play Sunday without Dobbins, Ingram, and 5 other players. So not really ducking anything as of now.

      • Technically correct

        It is not. Remember, there are a lot more people and moving parts involved besides just these “best shape of their life” athletes. Please continue to err on the side of caution NFL.

        – people who have lost loved ones to COVID who did not exhibit any preexisting conditions

      • Technically correct

        The fact that they play the NFC East this year is irrelevant!!!

  2. bigeasye

    They didn’t want another crappy game on thanksgiving. The NFL seems awfully arbitrary when it comes to moving games

  3. bucincharlotte

    Ravens are trying to get it postponed until week 18 without a doubt! Let’s just see if they play Sunday??

  4. inkstainedscribe

    Hindsight and everything, but you have to wonder if the NFL and the NFLPA aren’t kicking themselves for giving players some sort of incentive for participating in the late stages of the COVID vaccine trials. You could’ve had the entire league inoculated by now.

    • Oooof

      I’m not sure that would have been a good idea and I’m less sure why that would have been up to them. If they’re taking tons of measures to prevent exposure, they might not be a great group for a trial–I know from someone in the field that there was some pushback on even using New Yorkers in one study because rates aren’t high enough here. Further to that, a bunch of players would have been given placebos. The trials first and foremost have to function as trials.

  5. dwilson10

    Isn’t this the same incident that happened with the 49ers a few weeks ago? They were still forced to play their game with half their team out with COVID/injury. It seems like Goodell needs to be more consistent with his decisions

    • Steven Juris

      They are still playing this week. There shouldn’t ever be football games on Thursdays anyway.

    • MoneyBallJustWorks

      The 49ers decision was dumb. He’s being inconsistent but like most things, Roger is starting to get it right after being wrong (and getting called out for it) the first time.

    • bradthebluefish

      Fully agree. Goodell needs to be more consistent with how he punishes people. Seems like he does this often.

  6. Oooof

    If things are still developing in such a way that the Ravens need to be separated from each other, then they obviously need to be separated from another team. I don’t see how there’s an alternative to postponing by at least a few days.

  7. crosseyedlemon

    I feel this weekend may be the end of the regular season and that the NFL will then implement their contingency playoff plan. Gotta give the league credit for getting this far but a surge of cases over Thanksgiving will probably be the tipping point.

  8. goldenmisfit

    Anyone find it ironic all of these positive tests are happening right in the middle of flu season? The NFL is the most democrat bias professional sports organization in this country and if anyone in the league knew anything about medicine they would now if you contract the flu virus you will test positive for COVID-19. The reason is very simple the coronavirus is just a powerful strand of influenza which is just the medical terminology of the flu. Something else no one wants to address apparently COVID-19 numbers have skyrocketed during flu season but you hear nothing about flu cases and we are not supposed to think there is nothing to that.

    • Technically correct

      No, it is not ironic. It is exactly what everyone expected to happen. And yes, they are both strains of the influenza virus, but no, the seasonal flu will not produce a positive COVID result. The diagnostic tests are calibrated to know the differences and trained medical professionals interpret the results to ensure accuracy. You are unfortunately woefully uninformed. It may surprise you, but you can actually have COVID and the flu at the same time because they are definitively not the same thing.

  9. rusty.coqbern

    We never hear about the contact tracing details of the players/staff who test positive. We know there are guys who go out and do whatever they want without regard to anyone else and yet we don’t ever get details, why is that?

    • Technically correct

      Because it’s none of our business. Also, yeah, we do get those details. Those are the guys that get placed on the COVID restricted list as close contacts. They often come back after going through the established protocols. Ravens defensive lineman Brandon Williams, Lions QB Matthew Stanford has been twice, 49ers receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, etc, etc, etc.

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