Sports

Ravens-Steelers Thanksgiving Day game postponed again due to COVID-19 outbreak

The NFL has postponed the Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers Thanksgiving Day game a second time, as multiple members of the Ravens organization have tested positive for COVID-19.

The game, initially rescheduled to Sunday, will now be on Tuesday.

“These decisions were 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 postponement comes after Ravens officials announced on Monday that “multiple members” of the organization had tested positive for COVID-19. The individuals began self-quarantining, and the organization began contact tracing, officials said.

Since then, at least eight players have been added to the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning they either tested positive for COVID-19 or had been identified as close contacts of someone who tested positive.

That included running backs Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins, defensive tackle Brandon Williams and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee earlier this week. Ingram and Dobbins had tested positive for the virus, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said.

Baltimore added three more players — offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura, and defensive end Calais Campbell — to the list on Wednesday. And most recently, the team added defensive end Jihad Ward on Thursday.

Ten players total are currently on the list, the team said. Though according to ESPN, at least 12 Ravens players have tested positive for COVID-19, including MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The Ravens last played the Tennessee Titans home on Sunday.

“We appreciate the NFL for its diligence in working closely with us to ensure the well-being of players, coaches and staff from both the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers organizations,” the Ravens said in a statement Wednesday after the game’s initial postponement. “Protecting the health and safety of each team, in addition to our communities at large, is of utmost importance.”

Some Steelers players expressed frustration at the postponement.

“First the NFL takes away our bye week because another team can’t get their Covid situation together, now they take away our Thanksgiving primetime game for the same reason. Smh,” wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster tweeted on Wednesday.

“What a joke….,” wide receiver Chase Claypool tweeted following news of the initial postponement.

The NFL’s other Thanksgiving matchups — Houston-Detroit and Washington-Dallas — were played as scheduled.

The Steelers will have to adjust stadium guidelines due to COVID-19 restrictions. Team officials announced earlier this week that Heinz Field will be limited to 2,500 people total — players, coaches and stadium staff — following new orders and advisories issued by the state.

The Steelers had been allowing about 5,500 fans into Heinz Field. Starting with its Dec. 6 game, fans will be restricted to family and friends of the players and the organization, officials said.

“Our priority remains the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, gameday workers, and our fans,” Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement.

Source:

abcnews.go.com

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