The NFL postponed last night’s nationally televised game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers because the Ravens could not follow the strict COVID-19 procedures put in place by the NFL. As a direct result, the coronavirus has been spreading throughout the Ravens organization.
The NFL decided to postpone the game because it wants to use the rest of the week to conduct more testing and contact tracing, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. The announcement came about 31 hours before the scheduled kickoff.
“This decision was made out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts,” the NFL said in a statement.
The Ravens are blaming everything on an unnamed strength coach. They even supposedly disciplined this unnamed coach “for not reporting symptoms and not consistently wearing a mask or tracking device.”
The Ravens only have two strength coaches, Steve Saunders and Anthony Watson.
By not naming the strength coach outright or leaking the name to a team-friendly reporter, they cast aspersions against both men. One man deserves aspersions. The other one doesn’t. Only one of these coaches did the wrong thing and failed to notify the team he experienced symptoms. Only one of them reportedly was not wearing a mask around others. That coach is continuing to do the wrong thing by not coming out publicly and admitting he is the guilty party and not his fellow coach.
If I were an NFL owner
I think if I owned an NFL team and had millions of dollars invested in player salaries, I’d hire a staff of COVID-19 compliance techs whose sole responsibility would be to make sure the entire organization was doing the right thing. They would answer directly to me. If my team went on to win the Super Bowl, they would be one of the first to get championship rings.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has tested positive for COVID-19, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed Thursday, plunging the team’s season into further doubt amid a growing coronavirus outbreak.
Lamar Jackson is down with the sickness
With Jackson out and not available to play Sunday, the quarterbacking duties would befall to backup Robert Griffin III, an older, less talented, and some say a more handsome version of Lamar Jackson. According to Jonas, this Sunday’s makeup game probably won’t happen either.
Jackson, the NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player and a beloved leader in the Ravens’ locker room, is the highest-profile player yet sidelined by a virus that three other Ravens tested positive for Thursday, a source said. With the team having returned positive COVID-19 tests every day this week, Ravens players were told in a call Thursday night that Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers is increasingly unlikely to be played.
The Ravens should forfeit the game
Since it’s so late in the season and neither team has a bye week available, the Ravens should forfeit their game against the Steelers. It’s because of their organizational irresponsibility that the game cannot be played. The Steelers were able to play last night. They will be able to play this Sunday. Because the Ravens treated this pandemic like a joke and not something to be taken seriously, they created a situation where they could not fulfill their scheduled obligations. They should not only be forced to forfeit the game, but they should have to pay the NFL for the lost revenue they irresponsibly caused.
Will that happen? I highly doubt it.
I hate the Baltimore Ravens
I should probably point out that although I live in Maryland, I hate the Baltimore Ravens. If Florida singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett could transform his human body into a 55-player NFL team and play the Baltimore Ravens, I would root for the Jimmy Buffet team. I would not only go to the game, I would even sit in the Parrot Head section. And I hate Jimmy Buffett. I hate the Baltimore Ravens more.
The NFL rescheduled Sunday’s makeup game for Tuesday, December 1. Because the Ravens were scheduled to play the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, that game was rescheduled for the following Tuesday, December 7. All this, because the Baltimore Ravens refused to follow the rules.