The NFL is optimistic that the Ravens’ coronavirus outbreak will be contained in time for them to play the Steelers on Sunday after their Thanksgiving matchup was pushed back to the weekend.
“We feel like we have a really good handle on exactly when transmission occurred and how it occurred,” Dr. Allen Sills, chief medical officer of the NFL, said Wednesday on NFL Network. “I think we feel like we’re just a couple of days away from being out of that window of vulnerability for that transmission event.
“As of tomorrow, we would not have confidence in going forward but I think we feel we’re really close to the end of that transmission event and at present we’re targeting Sunday absent any new information that would change the facts that we have right now.”
The Ravens have added seven players to the reserve/COVID-19 list this week, including running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins as well as defensive end Calais Campbell. Members of their coaching staff have test positive too. After Baltimore received three positive tests Wednesday, the NFL announced it would be postponing the game originally scheduled as the league’s primetime Thanksgiving matchup.
"This decision was 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.
This is the second time the Steelers have had an opponent experience an outbreak in the days leading up to their game. Pittsburgh’s Week 4 game against the Titans was pushed back due to a slew of positive tests across Tennessee’s roster, forcing the Steelers to use their bye week earlier than expected. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his frustration with the postponements.
Baltimore is in desperate need of a win after dropping three of its last four and falling out of an AFC playoff spot. The Steelers are 10-0 and can clinch a playoff spot with a win and losses by the Raiders and Dolphins.