Ravens

Ravens set to hit the road for first time in COVID era

Ravens

Matthew Judon has to order delivery for his pizza. 

In a typical year, the Ravens’ best pass-rusher would find the best pizza place in town while on the road and make his Saturday meal whatever pizza the city had to offer. This year, that’s not possible.

The Ravens are set to travel to Houston to face the Texans on Sunday, their first road trip of 2020 in a COVID-19 era. With so much changing around them, the Ravens will try to keep this road trip as normal as possible

“We aren’t allowed to leave our hotel I think, so they’re just gonna have to bring it to me and we’re just gonna have to be chillin’ up in the hotel,” Judon said. “That’s just what it is for right now. It’s a crazy time, a crazy world right now.”

On Sept. 15, Texas had 4,667 new coronavirus cases and 148 deaths. Harris County, where Houston is located, leads the state with 14,720 active cases. 

For reference, Maryland had 599 new cases on Sept. 15 and 10 deaths. Even with being a much smaller state in both population and land mass, Maryland has done much better in its handling of the pandemic. 

Now, the Ravens will have to keep focused outside of the stadium in addition to being focused on their opponents. 

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“It’s a challenge in some ways, the teams that traveled last week had to deal with it, the teams that travel this week for the first time will have to deal with it for the first time,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We’re very confident in the people that organize all that for us...we have an amazing group, we’ll be fine.”

 

Last Sunday against the Browns, the Ravens operated without home fans and noise on defense. Now, there won’t be any crowd noise on offense.

“I don’t know if it’ll be too much different,” tight end Mark Andrews said. “We’re still flying out and doing all the same things, staying at the hotel. Lot of the same things we’re going to try to keep similar. As a team, we just got to be able to lock in, stay focused, keep our energy being away and not having fans.”

While no crowd on the road could be a silver lining of a season without fans, or at least sellout crowds, everyone would rather fans fill stadiums once again. 

Judon mentioned he’s disappointed, especially since he feels the Ravens’ fanbase travels well whenever the Ravens hit the road. 

This year, they’ll just have to adjust everything from silent counts on the road to their food orders before the game. “For me to keep everybody on my team safe, and for everybody else to be safe, and us to continue to play games, I’m just gonna have to switch up what I do,” Judon said. “Pizza can be delivered anywhere.”