Decisions have not yet been made regarding Ravens-Steelers game

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The return of multiple additional positive COVID-19 tests on Thanksgiving night has thrust the Ravens into even more turmoil. It also has created significant confusion regarding the status of Sunday’s scheduled game against the Steelers.

Per a league source with direct knowledge of the situation, decisions have not been made regarding whether the game will proceed on Sunday and, if not, when it will happen. A decision, as of Wednesday, was expected to be made on Friday. A decision, as of right now, is expected to be made on Friday.

There’s an increasing belief within the Baltimore organization that the game cannot proceed as scheduled. Whether it’s moved to Monday or Tuesday or it’s shifted to an eighteenth week or the Ravens forfeit (unlikely, but possible) isn’t known. Whether the game will proceed on Sunday won’t be determined, again, until Friday.

Against this basic reality, ESPN has reported that Ravens coach John Harbaugh has told players they won’t return to the team facility until Monday at the earliest. This communication, if it occurred (and Harbaugh apparently has gone on the record to confirm that it did), is not binding on the league; ultimately, the league will decide whether the game proceeds. And, again, the league has not yet made a decision.

A cynic would wonder whether Harbaugh is trying to speak a postponement into existence. The more likely explanation is that he’s reacting to concerns being expressed to him by players who are rattled by the uncontained spread of the virus, which most recently infected quarterback Lamar Jackson. As one source explained it to PFT, at this point the Ravens are far more concerned about stopping the outbreak than playing the game.

Its also possible that the Ravens would travel to Pittsburgh and play without returning to the team’s facility. However, the people carry the virus; the facility can be cleaned. The question is whether individuals are still incubating the virus, and whether they will shed virus onto others before it’s known that they have tested positive.

Will the Ravens agree with the league’s final decision about the game? Maybe, maybe not. But the situation remains a league decision not a team decision, and the league has not yet made a decision. The decision is coming Friday.

52 responses to “Decisions have not yet been made regarding Ravens-Steelers game

  1. Just play without the sick players.
    If the Ravens didn’t follow protocol then play without Lamar Jackson. Call up their practice squad players.

  2. Ok so we can play the game and then some Steelers will come down with the virus or we can EXTEND THE SEASON A WEEK and do the right thing.

  3. With the league having put in place the high risk protocols a couple weeks ago, it seems like the Ravens would had to have multiple protocol infractions to be experiencing this level of outbreak. I think the rest of the league is watching and wondering what the league does – their inconsistency has already exhibited perceived favoritism to Baltimore.

  4. What. A. Joke.

    So the league makes the 49ers play practice squad players but we’re debating re: the Ravens? To postpone the game to Tue/Wed? If I’m the Steeles I’m pissed. Who’s running the show here? John Harbaugh?

    Ravens forfeit. Next. Move on.

  5. It is only for for a forfeiture on behalf of the ravens. Give them the L and the Steelers the W and move on. Anything else would be grossly unfair to the Steelers.

  6. Enough of the double standard that the league may set for Crybaugh…..

    Yes, the game was postponed for safety. Screwing the Steelers (again) out of a pseudo bye week (which they never got to have ” Thanks Tennessee” ) … Now the Steelers are about to pay the price again for another organization’s incompetence.

    As many have stated here, if the 49ers had to play, then Baltimore MUST do the same.

    I was all for keeping it fair and delaying the game initially, but their organization MUST be punished for this ala the Raiders.

    Again, fair is fair.

  7. Well, if you think things are bad now, just wait a couple weeks after all the Thanksgiving traveling COVIDiots spread the pandemic like never before.

    I can pretty much guarantee they’ll be back at it for Christmas — not to mention New Year’s Eve!

    The league’s only hope is to go into bubble mode now.

    Sadly, the owners are greedy and hopeless.

    Jerry Jones will be bragging about his huge attendance — because there’s nothing positive he can say about the way the boys were spanked today.

  8. This can’t be from one solitary person occasionally not wearing his mask. There’s too many people involved over too short of a time. Others had to be lax with the protocalls as well. When this all comes out it’s going to be damning…

  9. All those saying that the Ravens should forfeit are out of their minds. It’s almost like you believe that Lamar and the rest did something on purpose to come down with the virus. When (not if) the virus reaches the Steelers (it will reach every club) don’t come crying that you shouldn’t forfeit too then.

  10. First the NFL makes sure the ravens beat the Colts on absolute bogus calls and now they protect them again. The Colts should be able to do this too than with Deforest out, why can’t they get their game postponed? What is the difference? We all know if derrick henry was positive, the league would let them postpone the game against the Colts Sunday, in fact that’s a guarantee

  11. The league expanded the size of the practice squad to 16 for a reason, Covid. Call up the healthy players and play the game!

  12. I see that the pitch forks are out and everyone is calling for Harbaugh’s head and docking the Ravens draft picks, etc….Sheesh! What is wrong with people? How much does your life have to suck to be have such bitterness about a team and a coach. This is is fluid situation as more players and staff are still testing positive. When the dust settles, I am sure the unnamed staff member will be dealt with. Clearly, the Covid protocol is definitely flawed. Your team might be next, So, just pray and hope that everyone affected gets better and be thankful that the situation is being contained instead of spreading the virus to other teams.

  13. What will the league do when the starting QB for one of the Superbowl teams tests positive 3 days before the big game?

  14. Ravens beat the steelers in week 17 last year with second stringers… they can do it again…

  15. If they reschedule the game again then all the players who would have been ineligible to play today should be ineligible for the rescheduled game. That is fair

  16. Whether they play, forfeit or reschedule to Week 18 it will end up working in Pitt’s favor.
    By week 18 Steelers will have for sure the Division and perhaps #1 seed wrapped up.
    If so they’ll rest all their starters in what will be a meaningless game.
    Ravens have no one to blame but themselves.

  17. In early October the league sent the following to the teams:

    “Protocol violations that result in virus spread requiring adjustments to the schedule or otherwise impacting other teams will result in additional financial and competitive discipline, including the adjustment or loss of draft choices or even the forfeit of a game.”

    So, it’s not impossible that they could enforce a forfeit. Not sure it will come to that, but it is possible. I don’t see them moving this game to the 18th week. They are going to have to let the team that has the issue bear the brunt. The Raiders and 49ers already have, so the Ravens are next. It could be any team next, and that’s just the way it is. IMO

  18. My question is – game is postponed to a Week 18. Does that mean every other team has a bye while these two play their last game? I would protest THAT if I was either team

  19. Shut the Ravens down for a 2 week quarantine. Give them 2 forfeits. Send a message to the rest of the league about following the rules before the entire season goes down the drain…

  20. Harbaugh is actively working the media and the NFL to get this game postponed. The league should not allow this. They made the 49ers play with numerous players on the COVID list and didn’t blink an eye about it. Either the Ravens play on Sunday or they forfeit.

  21. They will never forfeit this game. If they were to do that they would probably just not count it in the standings and treat it as a pass. But now this matchup is on everybody’s minds and the NFL is going to reschedule to show how flexible they are and try to make more money off of it. They will play this in Week 18. I just hope that it is a meaningless game at that point and they get no ratings for it.

  22. nastysavage says:
    November 26, 2020 at 11:27 pm
    Big asterisk for the eventual soopbowl champ this year.

    Where and Why? Luckily this mess has not had any bearing on standings yet for anyone. Any team that survives to win it all this year maybe deserves as asterisk for winning under harsh circumstances.

  23. It’s a TRAP! says:
    November 26, 2020 at 10:43 pm
    Ravens beat the steelers in week 17 last year with second stringers… they can do it again…

    Um….you do realize that the Steelers were playing without a lot of players due to injury and Big Ben was not there. Very different situation and……..No.

  24. Covid and injuries seem to affect certain teams more than others. Yeah a big asterisk stamped on this season. Fans of 2 teams in soopbowl this season would be the only ones to disagree

  25. Hey NFL, grow a set and issue a forfeit to the Ravens. They already admitted a coach breached critical protocol. And if they can’t play their next game on Thursday, forfeit that one also. Make a statement, for a change.

  26. Hopefully everyone has enjoyed this football season. Because it’s all close to be shutting completely down. College and nfl.

  27. Play Sunday with back up players. Ravens are not going to the playoffs this year and it doesn’t matter if they play with replacement players.

  28. What happens if they reschedule for week 18, and the Ravens are completely healthy? Campbell & Williams have gotten over their leg injuries…but the Steelers aren’t. Big Ben rolled an ankle week 17 against the Browns and has to miss a game… Now, how is that fair?!

  29. If the Ravens have to forfeit, take away all of their draft picks so they don’t benefit from the L.

  30. Play the game or forfeit. Postponing the game until week 18 is completely unfair to the AFC wild card contenders as the Ravens would get to play the Steelers who by that time would probably have nothing to play for. Imagine if the Ravens got that last wild card spot because of this and it completely screws over either the Raiders, Browns, Dolphins or Colts/Titans. Would be a total catastrophe.

  31. Either the Ravens play on Sunday or they forfeit…..100% Agree. But, only because a Ravens coach caused this, by breaking protocol.

  32. Steelers got an early “bye” when they prepared all week for a game against the Titans that did not happen. And cost them their real bye.

    Once again the Steelers practice all week for a game that will be canceled. And probably rescheduled for week 18. When the Steelers were supposed to get off.

    League is screwing the Steelers.

  33. There will be no forfeit. Forfeit means 2-0 which means it goes on the record as a W or an L and thus meaning that the players get a game check. That is the first thing that the union would be demanding and they would likely be on the right side of that arbitration.

  34. The forty niner packer game was played because it was the only game on that day, yesterday they still had two games going, NFL still made money, its Always about the money.

  35. With all infractions the Ravens have had plus the coach who said nothing and was positive why do they get a pass. Steelers were going to have to play if Ben was still positive Saturday before game Sunday. The league wants to penalize the teams that are doing the correct procedure

  36. In terms of fairness, games have been moved all the way to Tuesday. Why would this be a sudden forfeiture?

    In terms of saying just play it, there’s a delay in incubation. I’m surprised people STILL don’t get how this virus works.

    The threat is putting the players around each other and continuing to spread it so it never ends, and such that maybe the steelers get it.

  37. They can’t play with whoever is left standing because those players almost certainly have the virus but haven’t tested positive. If they force the game to be played Sunday Steelers players and game day personnel would be at risk.

    They can’t push the game to Monday or Tuesday because the Ravens are already on a short week – they play the Cowboys on Thursday night and they’re out of bye weeks.

    They’ve traced the outbreak to someone in the Ravens organization who ignored the rules. Actions have consequences. The only responsible move would be to forfeit the Ravens, isolate the team, keep the facility closed and see if they can be ready for Thursday.

  38. tazdev says:
    November 26, 2020 at 10:32 pm
    What will the league do when the starting QB for one of the Superbowl teams tests positive 3 days before the big game?

    They will play the game without that player, just as the Ravens should. Stop whining about it, forfeit or play. The Steelers shouldn’t be punished for the Ravens incompetence.

  39. If the Steelers get a win by forfeit and go undefeated, will an asterisk exist in the record books?

  40. If they end up forfeiting then the Titan’s owe the Bill’s a win. The Bill’s got screwed over royally ‘waiting’ to play the Titans like they did.

  41. 2020 aint Funny! tough dealing with a virus, move the game to the 18th when the Ravens are better prepared to play

  42. I seem to recall that the Patriots were required to fly to Kansas City and play the Chiefs, even after their best players on offense and defense were both found to be COVID-positive. The NFL even forced the team to fly out other players who had been in contact with Newton and/or Gilmore, and who later yielded positive tests.

    As always, the Patriots were treated as a hostile force, and were told what they were required to do, to the extent that the NFL forced them to play a road game vs. the best team in the NFL without a full complement of players.

    No other team has been told that they have to suck it up and play without their COVID-positive players.

    This is what happens because the NFL has never decided on a coherent policy for how to deal with COVID absences. As with most Goodell decisions, he wants to make decisions on the fly, and to be able to change his reasoning at any point without any concern for consistency.

    I don’t know what the Ravens should do. I know that, if they were forced to follow the precedent of the Pats-Chiefs game, they would be required to go to Pittsburgh and play, even without their MVP quarterback.

    But there is a long tradition at NFL headquarters of cutting the Ravens’ slack while inventing reasons to punish the Patriots.

    Problem here is that the Steelers are also a ‘most favored franchise’, more so than the Ravens to be honest. And the Steelers are not going to want to reschedule this game. They are on a path to getting the #1 seed and have earned the time off that they are due.

    I would give the Ravens a choice: play with a reduced roster or forfeit the game. That’s basically what the NFL told the Patriots to do.

  43. The NFL shouldn’t have rescheduled the game to begin with. It’s a bad look and rewards an organization for not taking the necessary steps to keep their players ready to play Thursday. The NFL should have done rapid tests for every player on both the Steelers and ravens. Positive results and you don’t play. Negative results and you do play. If the Ravens player’s are so irresponsible as to have no clue who has the virus or what stage of incubation they are in, they should be forced to forfeit the game. The old adage goes, “ a lack of preparation on your end doesn’t constitute an emergency on my end “.

  44. They screwed the 49ers vs Packers and made them play with practice squad players. All the teams should have the same rules.

  45. whispersd says:
    November 27, 2020 at 11:15 am
    I seem to recall that the Patriots were required to fly to Kansas City and play the Chiefs, even after their best players on offense and defense were both found to be COVID-positive. The NFL even forced the team to fly out other players who had been in contact with Newton and/or Gilmore, and who later yielded positive tests.

    —-

    The positive tests were limited with the Pats, which has been common throughout the league and games have still been played. Problem in New England was that it was their two best players who were seen out together having dinner. You should have no gripe

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