Two hours before the Ravens and Steelers kick off in a rare Wednesday afternoon game, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell insisted that the NFL can “safely and responsibly complete the season” even as the COVID-19 pandemic gets worse across America.
Amid criticism for how the NFL has handled the Ravens-Steelers game, which was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving, and then delayed until Sunday, then until Tuesday, then until Wednesday, Goodell said the NFL has done a good job of keeping the season going.
“It’s a remarkable achievement to reach this point and we are proud of our players and all personnel for their tireless work and commitment,” Goodell said. “Like our teams, we are focused on finishing strong.”
Goodell said the Ravens game was postponed to “make sure the virus was contained” and that medical experts are now convinced it has been.
Goodell defended the decision to isolate all the Broncos’ quarterbacks as high-risk contacts with quarterback Jeff Driskel, who tested positive, and said the Broncos situation is fundamentally different from the Ravens situation because there was never any concern that the Broncos had an outbreak outside their quarterback room.
And Goodell said the league is putting safety first.
“Health and medical decisions have and always will take precedence over competitive considerations and business interests,” Goodell said.