The Ravens are the latest NFL team to experience a COVID-19 outbreak, and it’s caused issues for their scheduled Week 12 game against the Steelers.
The game was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving night, then pushed back to Sunday afternoon before being moved again to Tuesday and now reportedly to Wednesday. The NFL’s continuing updates to COVID-19 protocols mean that a number of players on the COVID-19/reserve list are there for positive tests, while another portion of the list is made up of “high-risk close contacts” to the players who tested positive.
If Baltimore does get its game in with Pittsburgh in Week 12, it’ll be without a number of key players, including 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, running backs Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins, tight end Mark Andrews and pass-rushers Calais Campbell and Matthew Judon.
Ravens COVID-19 list
- Quarterbacks: Lamar Jackson, Trace McSorley
- Running backs: Mark Ingram, JK Dobbins, Patrick Ricard (FB)
- Wide receiver: Willie Snead
- Tight end: Mark Andrews
- Offensive line: Patrick Mekari, Matt Skura, Will Holden
- Defensive line: Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Justin Madubuike
- Linebackers: Matthew Judon, Parnell McPhee, Jihad Ward
- Cornerbacks: Terrell Bonds (IR), Khalil Dorsey (IR), Tavon Young (IR)
- Long snapper: Morgan Cox
This list is updated as of Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. ET. Players listed with (IR) were already on Injured Reserve prior to their placement on the COVID-19/reserve list.
Who is Steve Saunders?
Steve Saunders is the Ravens’ head strength and conditioning coach. According to multiple reports, he was the staff member punished by Baltimore for conducting relating to the team’s COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Saunders “had not routinely worn the proximity tracker required by the NFL for contact tracing or reported potential COVID-19 symptoms as he worked with players.” NFL Network added in its reporting that the punished staff member had not consistently worn a mask.
How COVID-19 spread on the Ravens
It’s not immediately known how COVID-19 spread through the Ravens’ roster, with the Baltimore Sun calling it “unclear.” The punishment for a staffer, reportedly Saunders, likely points to belief that his behavior, if not the root, was a factor in the outbreak. According to ESPN, the staffer was the first positive test in this string of positives, though.
Baltimore’s outbreak resembles that of Tennessee’s from earlier in the season, when a number of players in different positional groupings tested positive over the course of more than a week. ESPN wrote that the Ravens conducted multiple in-person activities, including meetings and an on-field workout, after Ingram and Dobbins came back with positive tests on Monday, Nov. 23.
The Ravens didn’t return to the facility following Tuesday, Nov. 24, according to ESPN. They attempted to go back in Monday morning, Nov. 30, but the NFL sent them home as further testing was done. The time away from the facility may have stopped the spread, as the only player to test positive on Nov. 30 was reportedly a player on Injured Reserve who may not have been interacting with the active roster.