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Fears emerge of potential wildcat strike on Tuesday night

Mike Tirico and Tony Dungy talk about the keys for the Ravens-Steelers Week 12 showdown as both teams are dealing with COVID absences.

As the NFL continues to monitor the Ravens-Steelers situation to determine whether to proceed with Tuesday night’s game, a new fear has emerged: Ravens players may refuse to play, if the game isn’t moved again.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, there are concerns of a potential wildcat strike by the Ravens.

Such a maneuver, if it happens, would pull the pin on a potentially complex legal grenade. The NFL would argue that it’s an illegal strike, violating both the CBA and the agreement struck in early August to allow the season to proceed. The NFL Players Association would likely counter by claiming that the delays coupled with the refusal to let the Ravens properly prepare creates a physical safety risk sufficient to justify refusing to play.

The stakes would potentially be very high. The NFL, based on financial losses absorbed to date in 2020, could choose to rip up the agreement that allows the season to be played and scrap the balance of the season. Although that’s highly unlikely, the source made it clear that this possibility is squarely on the NFLPA’s radar-screen of potential concerns, in large part because no one knows how much money the various teams truly are or aren’t making (or losing) this season. If the league is swimming in red ink, this could be an easy way to stop the bleeding.

Some believe the threat of a wildcat strike will result in the Ravens-Steelers game being nudged to Wednesday or possibly Thursday. If the game is moved again, Pittsburgh’s Week 13 game against Washington would then move to Monday, at the earliest.

The situation still remains very fluid, but the new wildcard has become the possibility of a wildcat strike. The league may choose to appease players who have concerns about playing on Tuesday night by kicking the can by another day, or two.