Update (5:04 PM): Out of sheer panic and ineptitude, the NFL has postponed Steelers-Ravens to Wednesday.
At 3:40 PM ET.
There were reports of players not wanting to play, and even potentially striking, with travel logistics to be reworked, and all right under the gun. Now that they’ve decided to push it back a day, the league has managed only to create a deeper logistical nightmare for itself. This was not the move. Week 18 was the right move. Week 13 currently has Washington at Pittsburgh scheduled for Sunday, and Cowboys at Ravens next Monday. Both of these games now look to be in jeopardy.
This is a mess.
In this seemingly never-ending saga, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers game is still, somehow, scheduled to be played tomorrow night… even though the league decided it was necessary to cancel the Ravens’ practice today as a precautionary measure.
Yesterday, Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead tested positive for COVID-19. He is the seventh projected starter on the Ravens offense to test positive, and marked eight days in a row with a positive test in the Baltimore organization.
So, what the hell are we doing here?
The NFL made the decision on Wednesday to postpone this game to Sunday, then again to push it to Tuesday. The league has made it clear that they will only postpone a game if it is for medical concerns and not for competitive reasons. They, theoretically, care if they believe there is a continued risk for transmission.
I don’t know, eight days in a row of positive tests, one of which happening just yesterday, sure seems like enough cause to worry that there is an outbreak that hasn’t been controlled. Clearly they’re concerned enough to shut down the facility today, but because of their stubbornness and hellbent attitude to get this game played, they haven’t pulled the plug yet.
They need to. This is irresponsible and foolish. The league is deciding to cram this game in instead of making the safe decision of implementing a contingency plan. There has been talks for a while about the league “considering” adding a Week 18 to the end of the season to make up games that would potentially have playoff implications. Considering this is a divisional game with the current AFC one-seed Steelers and a Ravens team that is vying for a Wild Card spot, this would certainly fit that scenario.
I know it’s not ideal, but it’s time to make the right choice. Please, NFL, show the players that you care about their safety more than you care about being inconvenienced. Add that Week 18 contingency plan now.