Baltimore will add three more players – offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura and defensive end Calais Campbell – to the reserve / COVID-19 roster on Wednesday, according to a source. The Ravens now have seven players who have tested positive or have been identified as close contacts.The NFL has decided to postpone the game as they want to use the rest of the week to do more testing and contact tracing, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. The announcement came about 31 hours before the scheduled kickoff.
“This move was made as a precaution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and staff on game day and in consultation with medical experts,” the NFL said in a statement.
This is the second time the Steelers’ schedule has been affected by COVID-19. Their Week 4 game against the Tennessee Titans was moved to Week 7 due to an outbreak in the Titans’ organization. The Ravens’ first game was then moved from Week 7 to the originally scheduled expiration for the Steelers in Week 8, and the postponement of Week 4 became de facto Pittsburgh’s week off.
This time around, the Steelers are wasting their mini-bye week with the Thanksgiving game moved to Sunday.
Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster tweeted minutes after Wednesday’s announcement expressing disappointment.
First the NFL is taking our week off because another team can’t recover from their Covid situation, now they’re taking our prime-time Thanksgiving game away from us for the same reason. Smh.
– JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) November 25, 2020
Sources told ESPN’s Brooke Pryor that the Steelers will have a day off Thursday after practice on Wednesday. Coach Mike Tomlin had planned to give his players until next Wednesday after the Thanksgiving game, but those plans have changed.
This marks the 13th game that has been postponed or moved this season due to coronavirus issues, but it is the first postponement since Week 5. Three weeks ago, the San Francisco 49ers played against the Packers of Green Bay Thursday night, even though they had placed four. players on the reserve / COVID-19 list.
Earlier Wednesday, some Ravens players expressed concern about the game.
“Player safety… what a joke,” Ravens defensive end Derek Wolfe tweeted.