The Ravens are slowly getting healthier. After a COVID-19 outbreak decimated Baltimore’s roster and forced the team to field a JV squad against the Steelers on Wednesday — a game that was postponed multiple times — the Ravens activated several key players yesterday. And Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that quarterback Lamar Jackson is expected to come off the reserve/COVID-19 list and start against the Cowboys on Tuesday.
Jackson tested positive for the coronavirus on Thanksgiving and has now completed his 10-day quarantine. He can practice today and participate in Monday’s walkthrough in preparation for the matchup with Dallas.
The reigning league MVP has not been nearly as successful this season as he was in his 2019 coming-out party, but he remains a dynamic talent whose presence makes Baltimore a difficult out, regardless of opponent. Though the Ravens have fallen to 6-5 after a 5-1 start to the season, all but one of their defeats have come by less than a score.
Baltimore has a manageable schedule the rest of the way, with games against the Cowboys, Jaguars, Giants, and Bengals upcoming. As such, the Ravens still have a good chance at securing a playoff berth, and having Jackson under center will go a long way towards achieving that goal.
Meanwhile, the NFL-NFLPA investigation into the Ravens’ violation of COVID-19 protocols will take weeks to wrap up, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. We have learned that the coronavirus outbreak was largely transmitted by a strength coach who reportedly came into the team’s facility despite being ill and who did not adhere to facemask protocols. That coach has since been suspended, but several players told their agents and the union that they are also concerned about chaplains and nutritionists not following all facemask and social distancing requirements.
The league has made it clear that the Ravens have been extremely cooperative and forthcoming in the investigation, and the belief is that the outbreak is contained. Nonetheless, Baltimore will likely face at least a heavy fine as punishment for the protocol violations.
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