The Baltimore Ravens have been dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak this week and their Thanksgiving game against the Steelers has been pushed off because of it. But the Ravens aren’t going to let the people most responsible off the hook.
According to the franchise, the Ravens have disciplined a staffer for “conduct regarding their recent COVID-19 cases.” The identity of this staffer is unknown and will likely remain that way.
NFL insider Tom Pelissero reported that the team punished the coach for not consistently wearing his mask or using his tracking device. As a result, the team may be able to mitigate potential punishment from the NFL.
Earlier this week there were reports that four Ravens players, including Mark Ingram, Calais Campbell and JK Dobbins, all tested positive for the virus. They were promptly ruled out of the Thursday night game.
That game has since been rescheduled for this Sunday. It will air at 1:15 p.m. EST on NBC.
The #Ravens have disciplined a staff member for conduct regarding their recent COVID-19 cases that affected players and Baltimore staff members.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 25, 2020
By proactively disciplining the coach, the #Ravens potentially could reduce or avoid discipline they face from the league over an outbreak that forced the postponement of the Thanksgiving night game against the #Steelers. https://t.co/HKxL5WrJ2u
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 25, 2020
But the NFL will have some tough questions to answer if things get worse in Baltimore and not better. The Ravens and Steelers have both had their bye weeks already, so the league would need to get creative with their scheduling if they can’t play on Sunday. The game is currently scheduled to be played at 1:15 p.m. E.T. on NBC.
We’ve seen games pushed off to Monday due to COVID-19, but usually at the price of an early bye week.
This late in the season, there’s no room for that. If teams can’t play, the NFL will either need to force teams to play on almost no rest, extend the regular season, or cancel games outright.
Any one of those bad options will raise all kinds of new issues that the league will need to navigate through.
What an absolute mess.