Ravens say they had four different strains of COVID-19 in their facility

USA TODAY Sports

As the Ravens brace for a potential punishment from the league for the outbreak that forced the Week 12 game between the Ravens and Steelers to be postponed three times and that sparked the postponement of a pair of Week 13 games (Washington-Steelers to Sunday to Monday and Cowboys-Ravens from Thursday to Tuesday), team president Dick Cass has issued a statement regarding the situation.

The full statement, which appears below, explains that the team had four different strains of COVID-19 in the facility. Three were stopped, and one was not.

“As you know by now, the Ravens have experienced an outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), with multiple players, staff and families testing positive, being quarantined and treated,” Cass said. “It further resulted in unprecedented changes to scheduling, practice, travel, game dates and times, and further precautions for not only our organization, but for opponents as well.

“Our thoughts are with our infected players, staff and their families. They are receiving treatment and are being monitored to provide them with the best possible care, and we are hoping for a full recovery for all.

“We want to thank our players. Their proactive efforts and resolve during this difficult situation were nothing short of extraordinary. We couldn’t be prouder of them.

“We also offer our profound appreciation to the NFL, the Steelers, the Cowboys, and the fans, for their support, understanding and flexibility during this time of unforeseen upheaval due to this coronavirus outbreak.

“We, at the Ravens, have endeavored to preserve the sport we love. We have been and are dedicated to the health and safety of our team, our players, our staff and their families.

“From the outset, we have taken the virus seriously, very seriously. The NFL, NFLPA and their medical experts developed a protocol with the health and safety of every organization in mind. Throughout the season, the NFL has updated the protocol to reflect new knowledge about the coronavirus and its spread. We believe in the protocol and made every effort to adhere to it. We strive not only to ‘play like a Raven’ but also to ‘comply like a Raven.’

“Despite our best efforts, the protocol is only as effective as our weakest link. With a dangerous virus like this, everyone must comply with the protocol to avoid infecting many. We now know that not everyone at the Ravens followed the protocol thoroughly.

“Based on information provided by the NFL, we have learned that we had at least four unique strains of COVID-19 in our facility. Three of the four were stopped and not spread within our organization. Unfortunately, the fourth was a highly-contagious strain and spread throughout our organization.

“We cannot undo what has occurred. But, we can do our best to learn from what has happened and be vigilant moving forward to ensure that it does not happen again. As the recent experience has shown us, this virus does not need a large opening to spread within an organization, and 99% compliance is not a passing grade when dealing with this virus.

“To our community, our neighbors, our fans and families, we say: Please learn from what happened here. This virus is serious. Very serious. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Let’s beat this virus together. Thank you.”

The Ravens previously announced that an employee had been disciplined in connection with the outbreak. The Ravens have declined to name the employee, who per multiple reports is strength and conditioning coach Steve Saunders. Saunders, reportedly has been suspended for his infractions, which reportedly included not reporting symptoms and not consistently wearing a mask or a contact-tracing device.

The Ravens surely hope that their proactive approach to imposing discipline on Saunders will reduce the punishment. Others would say that the Ravens should have taken extra care to ensure that everyone was complying with all relevant protocols — especially staff members like strength and conditioning coaches, who come in contact with so many players and others.

29 responses to “Ravens say they had four different strains of COVID-19 in their facility

  1. Good thing the NFL didnt make them play without their most important players or anything. Deliberately breaking the rules like that coach did calls for a serious punishment like delaying the game a week. Roger Goodell is a monument to consistancy and good judgement.

  2. How did they identify 4 different strains so fast and wouldn’t that require 4 different vaccines?

  3. So letting four different strains get into the facility is supposed to mitigate the blame on the Ravens.They deserve to lose a first round pick and their second rounder also just for how their head coach walks around with a smug look on his face all the time.

  4. Blah blah blah blah Don’t penalize us!!!!

    Anyone that buys this excuse must have 4 different strains of something else on hand ….

  5. Dobbins and Ingraham were tested before the Titans game and did not get the test result until after the game. The result was infection for Mekari, Skura, Andrews and Jackson all who were in the huddle together. This part of the story is not widely known and not widely publicized. It is the real reason for the postponed games and new NFL pokicy.

  6. 4 Strains means that 3 of the people who were on the Ravens Covid-19 positives list got it from normal community spread. Various sources in the world. Getting takeout, toilet paper, whatever.

    Every other case came from Saunders.

    The point they are making is that the other people with the other unique strains didn’t spread because 1) they were wearing masks and following protocol (to quote Governor Larry Hogan – WEAR THE DAMN MASK!), and 2) there were likely the less contagious straings.

    Saunders is largely the patient zero here and messed up.

    Endgame, if you wear masks and follow protocol, the spread will be limited. Saunders broke protocol and screwed the Ravens.

    To the poster above, most vaccines train your body to recognize certains proteins related to viruses as the enemy. Just because you have different strains doesn’t necessarily mean you need different vaccines because they have similar proteins. Its the same virus, but with different mutations.

  7. So 4 different strains targeted 1 specific area, imagine how many strains there are in the rest of the world…

  8. Waiting for the comments from the countless infectious disease experts that seem to be everywhere in the comments section…

  9. I believe in Iceland they were genetically sequencing variants, there’s at least 40 I believe.

    But again, they are all covid-19, and the upcoming vaccines should work on them.

  10. To the poster above, most vaccines train your body to recognize certains proteins related to viruses as the enemy. Just because you have different strains doesn’t necessarily mean you need different vaccines because they have similar proteins. Its the same virus, but with different mutations.——-
    Then how come they need a new flu vaccine every year? Just different strains of the same basic flu virus.

  11. We also want to thank the players and coaches for ignoring the rules,for not wearing face mask and for socializing with anyone that would party with them. Bunch of clowns thinking it can’t happen to them.. Risked all them lives of people they came into contact with. I hope the NFL gives them what they deserve!

  12. PFTSelectiveCensorship says:
    December 5, 2020 at 6:08 pm
    Waiting for the comments from the countless infectious disease experts that seem to be everywhere in the comments section…

    ***************************************************************************

    We’re 9 months into a pandemic at this point. You don’t have to be an infectious disease expert to have educated yourself enough at this point to be able to talk about it.

  13. mmmpierogi says:
    December 5, 2020 at 7:07 pm
    PFTSelectiveCensorship says:
    December 5, 2020 at 6:08 pm
    Waiting for the comments from the countless infectious disease experts that seem to be everywhere in the comments section…

    ***************************************************************************

    We’re 9 months into a pandemic at this point. You don’t have to be an infectious disease expert to have educated yourself enough at this point to be able to talk about it.
    —————————————————————————————-
    But the issue is there is a difference between “talking about it” and spewing myths, hearsay,conjecture and blatant untruths as FACT. Your sarcasm is severely misplaced. Move along..

  14. What wasn’t mentioned is that face masks “reduce” the transmission of the virus, but they are in no way 100% effective. One can follow all of the recommended protocols to a T and still become infected.

  15. Still waiting on those huge fines and draft picks taken away like one other team.

    Just sayin

  16. Where is the punishment for the absolutely brazen flaunting of spreading it by that coach and others around the team???

    That is patently unreal. They admitted to it! Goodell’s
    cheating knows no bounds.

  17. the8man says:
    December 5, 2020 at 8:03 pm
    Fines ensuing.

    0 0 Rate This

    ——————

    Fines? How about picks for once? Their 4th cheating examplein the last 3 years.

    They have never lost a pick. Ever. For anything. And, that’s on top of them getting help to try to cover for them with Ray Rice, too. Everyone was horrifed except for Goodell, which led to framing Brady.

  18. Goodell will probably change a rule allowing the Ravens to get the W last week because the Steelers took too long on that one play.
    What happened when Bluetooth Guy was on the sideline? Oh yeah, nothing.
    He HAS to dock them a 1st round pick + $1mm fine. At least. They almost single-handedly wrecked this season though their egregious protocol violations.

  19. This offseason, John Harbaugh will petition the rules committee to make Covid declare itself an eligible virus before it tries to infect a team.

  20. For those “basement-dwellers spewing shade” to the Ravens, at 6-5 it appears they are headed below sea-level themselves, wouldn’t you say?

  21. PFTSelectiveCensorship says:
    December 5, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    But the issue is there is a difference between “talking about it” and spewing myths, hearsay,conjecture and blatant untruths as FACT. Your sarcasm is severely misplaced. Move along..

    *******************************************************************************

    Nothing I said was sarcastic. If you managed to read it that way, then it went right over your head. Otherwise, I don’t think you know what sarcasm is.

  22. mmmpierogi says:
    December 5, 2020 at 7:07 pm
    PFTSelectiveCensorship says:
    December 5, 2020 at 6:08 pm
    Waiting for the comments from the countless infectious disease experts that seem to be everywhere in the comments section…

    ***************************************************************************

    We’re 9 months into a pandemic at this point. You don’t have to be an infectious disease expert to have educated yourself enough at this point to be able to talk about it.
    —————————————————————————————-
    But the issue is there is a difference between “talking about it” and spewing myths, hearsay,conjecture and blatant untruths as FACT. Your sarcasm is severely misplaced. Move along..

    —————————-

    I always wonder when I see some wag on the internet telling another to “move along”. They seem to feel they have some sort of authority to order someone like that. Just curious, what happens if the person ignores the instruction? Then what?

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