Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Lamar Jackson tests positive for COVID-19, Ravens vs. Steelers moved again [Updated]

MVP Lamar Jackson is the highest-profile player to test positive for COVID-19.
MVP Lamar Jackson is the highest-profile player to test positive for COVID-19.
Image: (Getty Images)

Last year’s NFL MVP, quarterback Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

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Updated on Friday, November 27 at 4:30 p.m.: The NFL has rescheduled the Ravens and Steelers game for Tuesday, December 1 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Jackson will not have time to clear protocol to play in this game. The Ravens were also scheduled to play in Thursday Night Football against the Cowboys, which has been moved to Monday, December 7, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Adding to the confusion of how to handle this situation, the Ravens have disciplined a strength and conditioning coach for breaking COVID-19 protocols. Weighing the competitive nature of the situation will be a fascinating thing to monitor — rescheduling the game after the Ravens broke protocols essentially rewards them for doing so.

If the Ravens have to forfeit the game, then no players from either team get paid. Nobody wants that. However, the Steelers probably don’t want to play a team that is currently having an outbreak. Essentially, there is no good answer, and it all sucks.

The best-case scenario is that they determine the outbreak is contained and they play Tuesday, but if it hasn’t been contained, then it becomes a logistical nightmare. Honestly, the league brought this clusterfuck upon themselves by essentially scheduling the season and hoping that magically it just works out. Not having a contingency plan – a Week 18, multiple bye weeks, something – falls squarely on their shoulders.