Hours before the Ravens and Steelers are expected to kick off in a nearly unprecedented Wednesday afternoon NFL game due to COVID-19 outbreaks, news broke that Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey was being placed on the COVID/Reserve list.
This development further complicates the decision for the NFL to go through with this game after many have called for the game to be canceled and reports surfaced that there were fears about Ravens players refusing to play this game.
Yet, the game will go on after being rescheduled numerous times and the Ravens losing more than half of their key players for this game, including reigning MVP Lamar Jackson.
The Ravens had arguably the worst COVID outbreak that any professional sports team has endured and yet the NFL is still putting these players against the Steelers who had multiple COVID positives in their organization as well over the last week.
It’s unclear if Pouncey has the virus or if he was just exposed to someone who had it and tested negative. But the dangers and uncertainty of playing a game while your starting center is in COVID protocols are obvious. The Steelers’ offensive line could potentially all be infected as well as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger because of the close contact they have to have with Pouncey.
It also must be made clear that just because Pouncey tests negative today that doesn’t mean that he isn’t able to spread the virus. You can test negative and still spread the virus because it might take a few days for the virus to show up on a COVID test.
How the NFL stubbornly made this game happen when all the signs pointed to canceling it is already crazy.
But now you add the fact that a player who touches the ball every single play was just placed on the reserve/COVID list three hours before kickoff for the team that did NOT have an enormous outbreak, is even wilder.
Let’s just all pray everyone gets out of this game safe without any extra spread. Because the risk the NFL is putting these players in is absolutely ridiculous.