Monday, Tuesday walk-throughs complicated the Ravens’ situation

USA Today Sports

If the Ravens hadn’t been scheduled to play until Sunday in the first place, this week’s outbreak possibly would had been less severe. The fact that they were preparing to play on Thursday night exacerbated the situation — and quite possibly will keep the Week 12 game against the Steelers from being played at all.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the league allowed the Ravens to hold walk-through practices on Monday and on Tuesday before shutting down the facility for good. The Monday gathering happened even though the Ravens learned late Sunday night of positive positive player results, based on samples collected on Sunday morning. Ditto for the Tuesday gathering; the players and coaches were in the building on Tuesday morning despite more Monday positives.

Although the team announced late Tuesday morning that the Ravens would work virtually, they actually had completed most of another walk-through practice, and they had conducted in-person meetings on Tuesday, before the facility closed. The league shut things down and sent everyone home as a result of a new round of point-of-care tests.

The unnamed staff member, reportedly a strength and conditioning coach, tested positive last Thursday, per the source. The four player positives from Sunday, the day of the game against the Titans, showed that the virus was spreading at a time when players and coaches were the most vulnerable to further transmission, given the unavoidable proximity of bodies and absence of masks.

If the Ravens weren’t due to play until Sunday in the first place, few if any players would have been in the facility on Monday and Tuesday, limiting the possibility that the virus would further spread. Instead, the fact that players and coaches gathered on Tuesday, combined with indications that the virus continues to spread and the normal incubation period, makes it difficult to conclude with any degree of confidence that the cycle won’t continue, with another wave of positives emerging on Sunday, when the Ravens and Steelers are currently due to play.

That’s why a Sunday game currently seem unrealistic. Moving the game to Monday or Tuesday would reduce the risk of further spread, but it would leave the Ravens woefully unprepared for the game. If they can return to the facility on Monday, they could conduct a walk-through before the Tuesday game.

Such an approach would represent a calculated risk that any and all exposures from last Tuesday would have resulted in positives before Monday, and it assumes that the maximum incubation period is five days. If that estimation were to be incorrect, gathering on Monday could spark a new wave of infections.

As it stands, according to the source, someone in almost every job capacity in Ravens football operation has tested positive, including strength coaches and trainers. Most people, per the source, didn’t feel safe going into the building after the Sunday positives or the Monday positives, and no one feels safe going in now.

Players, per the source, generally don’t want to return to the building until next Wednesday at the earliest. That would allow for a five-day incubation period from Tuesday the 24th and two consecutive days of negative tests.

The final decision will be made by the league. As the source put it, the league truly cares about safety, but the league also cares about the bottom line. By allowing the Ravens to gather on Monday (despite a wave of positives from Sunday) and Tuesday (despite a wave of positives from Monday), the league made a decision to try to keep on the Thanksgiving schedule one of the biggest games of the year. Ultimately, that decision made things worse.

“The league really wanted to play that game, which is understandable,” the source said. “Unfortunately, we suffered for it.”

The regular-season schedule is now potentially suffering for it, with a Sunday game between the Ravens and Steelers unlikely, a short-term postponement potentially impractical, and the contest quite possibly destined to become the first game of an eighteenth week.

The league has resisted for nearly 12 weeks the periodic temptation to bump a game into an eighteenth week. Ravens at Steelers could still be the first one to land there. The problem becomes that, for the two teams involved, there would be no margin for error when it comes to their remaining games, since there would be no opportunity to make up a second game for either team that can’t be played in the scheduled week.

30 responses to “Monday, Tuesday walk-throughs complicated the Ravens’ situation

  1. As a Steelers fan I want to beat the Ravens so there are no excuses but the more we learn about this the worse it gets. The ravens should forfeit this game for numerous reasons and then we can all move on and continue the season as planned.

  2. “As the source put it, the league truly cares about safety, but the league also cares about the bottom line.”

    I believe the owners would throw their whole team in to a volcano if there was a profit to be made.

  3. The Ravens should be heavily fined and sanctioned for ruining people’s Thanksgiving night by having to cancel a potential great game and replacing it with a stupid Dog Show.

  4. The Ravens could’ve tried to plan as much remotely but instead chose to do in person walk throughs. The problem a this has caused other teams is great. They should be fined and forfeit a draft choice.

  5. As a Ravens fan, at this point we should forfeit.. we were likely to lose anyways – but with all the positive tests it makes the game irrelevant AND the Steelers get a mini-BYE so they can quit crying

  6. Didn’t the Patriots play 2 games, and only held one walkthrough in 15 days to play those 2 games? Why was there no concern for the woefully unprepared Patriots team???? This is the reality of this season. And the NFL has made their bed. If the Ravens have to be woefully unprepared because of their carelessness, then that’s just the way it is. There was a LOT of discussion about forcing New England to forfeit “because they failed the protocols and they brought it on themselves”. Hindsight, the Patriots apparently did a damn good job at limiting the spread. Why is no one bashing the Ravens for their failure? Why is no one saying they should forfeit. Why is no one wanting them to play unprepared? It’s almost like people are gigantic hypocrites…

  7. I thought it was standard operating procedure to close facilities and work remotely when teams have positive tests. They have shown complete disregard towards the NFL and should definitely be punished

  8. Make week 17 a bye week for every team that doesn’t require a make-up game. Week 18 should be the final week of the season for all teams.

  9. Can Roger Goodell fine himself for conduct detrimental to the league and lack of institutional control? I am serious about this!

    The NFL TOLD the Ravens to continue as if everything was normal on Monday after positive test results from Sunday. The NFL told the Ravens to continue as if everything was normal on Tuesday after more positive results on Monday.

    This is 100% on the NFL and on the Ravens for not shutting things down on Monday and on Tuesday.

  10. So despite the outbreaks on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the league was still trying to play the game on Thursday? What the hell? The league is as much to blame as the Ravens!

  11. If I’m the Steelers, I don’t want to be in the same city as the Ravens right now, let alone lined up across from them!

  12. Thursday positive; Sunday four positives; League okays Monday and Tuesday walkthroughs resulting in a flurry of positives (at least ten players to date). NFL trying to cover its butt by postponing the game and refusing to penalize the Ravens because the NFL approved a variance from its own protocols to keep the Thursday game on until it became impossible to play. Whoever at the NFL approved the walkthroughs should be fired; whoever allowed players who had been in close contact with the strength and conditioning coach to play on Sunday should be fired. How many Titans have been infected after playing the Ravens on Sunday as a result of the violation of the protocols (5 days for ‘close contacts’ of confirmed positives)? This whole situation has the potential to derail the Ravens and Steelers’ season and to give the NFL a huge public relations problem because they disregarded their own rules!

  13. ramsnation88 says:
    November 27, 2020 at 8:50 am
    “As the source put it, the league truly cares about safety, but the league also cares about the bottom line.”

    I believe the owners would throw their whole team in to a volcano if there was a profit to be made.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I think you’re close. Seems more like each owner would gladly throw every other team into a volcano if there was a profit to be made.

  14. ramsnation88 says:

    November 27, 2020 at 8:50 am

    “As the source put it, the league truly cares about safety, but the league also cares about the bottom line.”

    I believe the owners would throw their whole team in to a volcano if there was a profit to be made
    ——–
    Well the players are willing to jump in or push other players into a volcano too if theres a profit to be made as well which has been shown by the NFLPA agreeing so I’m not sure what your point is.

  15. Reasonable Fan,
    You said “no one,” but that would indicate you haven’t read a single thing about this, as the vast majority of people have said those exact things the entire time.

    ————————
    Why is no one bashing the Ravens for their failure? Why is no one saying they should forfeit. Why is no one wanting them to play unprepared? It’s almost like people are gigantic hypocrites

  16. So the league and the team knew there were multiple positives Sunday and Monday but looked the other way and kept the facility open so they’d be ready for the big game Thanksgiving night.

    If that doesn’t say “player safely is our priority” I don’t know what does…

  17. Tiny violins are playing for the ravens….bottom line apparently the strength coach in question violated the protocols and the ravens (and perhaps the whole league) is paying for it.

  18. Reasonable Fan says:
    November 27, 2020 at 9:24 am
    Didn’t the Patriots play 2 games, and only held one walkthrough in 15 days to play those 2 games? Why was there no concern for the woefully unprepared Patriots team???? This is the reality of this season. And the NFL has made their bed. If the Ravens have to be woefully unprepared because of their carelessness, then that’s just the way it is. There was a LOT of discussion about forcing New England to forfeit “because they failed the protocols and they brought it on themselves”. Hindsight, the Patriots apparently did a damn good job at limiting the spread. Why is no one bashing the Ravens for their failure? Why is no one saying they should forfeit. Why is no one wanting them to play unprepared? It’s almost like people are gigantic hypocrites…

    35 2 Rate This

    —————-

    Ya think?

    Goodell is a cheater. You have to follow what he does to see the cheating.

  19. I worry the Steelers will be exposed to the virus if they play Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. And it would be completely unfair for the Steelers to play week 18 while other playoff teams get a bye. This is the Ravens and the NFLs fault. Ravens should forfeit and the league office should pay the Steelers salaries for the game.

  20. The incompetence and corruption shown by both the Ravens and the League in this situation is mind blowing. The things the League allows certain teams who can’t follow the rules to get away with is mind-blowing. The Patriots, Cardinals, and other teams have shown that the protocol works and you can keep one or two positive cases from being an outbreak – had the League and the Ravens actually followed their own rules and protocols we wouldn’t be in this mess.
    The Ravens need to held accountable for this -$1M fine and the loss of a first round pick should be the entering argument on their punishment — more should be added for each game lost or pushed out of primetime.

  21. Stupid is as stupid does. There is no way it would be safe for the teams to play Sunday. The Steelers should definitely want to avoid being around the hygienically incorrect rat birds. The NFL is as much at fault as anyone (hypocrisy? The NFL decision makers? Right…) for allowing the Mon & Tues walk throughs. Personnel safety should be 1st priority, but integrity & continuity following the clearly stated consequences for creating an unsafe & unplayable scenario should be a neck & neck 2nd priority. This game cannot be pushed to week 18 as it clearly would benefit the Ravens (who, again, created this situation). The Steelers don’t need a Covidiot led mob potentially infesting their facilities. Although everyone would rather the game be played, the time has come for a forfeit (in the name of player safety & league fairness, not to mention making a precedent for others to consider moving forward).

  22. Forget the pittance of a fine the NFL is likely to levy on the Ravens for this breech of protocol…have them make up the advertising revenue lost from moving a Thanksgiving prime time game to just another Sunday afternoon game… That’ll get their attention. Ouch!

  23. Trying to force this season to proceed looks like it’s fighting a losing battle. What if he had caught a really severe case and ended up on a ventilator or even worse? Now you have your MVP in extreme danger. All I can say is I hope the damn money is worth it !

  24. Enough of this …… Forfeit the dam game!!!!!!!!!!! That was one of the options put out by the league at the beginning of the year for teams that do not adhere to the mandates put in place. Baltimore “Clearly” did not.

    It would be too unfair to the Steelers (again) to do otherwise. Period.

  25. Just because the NFL allowed the walk throughs on Monday and Tuesday, the activities were not compulsory. The league and the team are at fault here. The actions leave the Titans and Steelers in bad situations that could have been prevented with a fair amount of certainty.

  26. Make the Ravens forfeit and pay the salaries of both teams for this game and move on. If the Ravens don’t like it then they should have followed the rules. If the Patriots, Niners and Raiders had to pay a price for a Covid breakout then the Ravens should too…..and even worse since they knew about a positive and ignored it. They should suffer at least the same fate as the Raiders did and probably more.

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