OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The COVID-19 outbreak in Baltimore has resulted in the Ravens Steelers game being postponed to Wednesday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The game starts at 3:40 p.m. ET, a source told Schefter. It’s the first game of the NFL season to be postponed three times.
With the latest postponement, the Steelers game on Sunday against Washington Football Team will now be played on Monday, a source told ESPN and confirmed a report from Sports Illustrated.
The week 12 game between the Ravens and Steelers, originally scheduled for Thanksgiving night and postponed to Sunday and then Tuesday night, has again been postponed. This is the first NFL game on Wednesday since the 2012 season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants, scheduled for the day to avoid conflict with President Barack Obama’s speech at Thursday’s Democratic National Convention.
The latest postponement came after the Ravens players said on a conference call on Monday that they did not want to play on Tuesday for security reasons. Baltimore had another positive test on Monday that lasted nine days in a row, with at least one player testing positive. The source added that one suggestion from the players was to reschedule the game to Thursday, but the NFL compromised by rescheduling it to Wednesday.
The Ravens will be holding one tour Monday night and could hold another before leaving for Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Baltimore has not had full exercise since November 20th, a 10-day period.
It is uncertain how the postponement of Baltimore’s game against Pittsburgh will one day affect the Ravens Week 13 game against the Cowboys, which has already been postponed to Monday.
For the Ravens, Monday was perhaps the strangest day of one of the most challenging weeks in franchise history. The players had reported to the team facility about half an hour before scheduled training at 9:30 a.m. when the NFL canceled training to wait for the latest test results, a source said. The Ravens waited for most of the day, not knowing if they would train again that afternoon and get on a plane to play against the NFL’s only undefeated team. The day ended with the game between rivals AFC Nord being postponed for the third time in six days.
Baltimore is in the midst of one of the biggest breakouts in professional sports. At the Ravens, 22 players tested positive or identified as high-risk close contact in the past nine days. Baltimore currently has 38 players on its 53-man roster.
At least a dozen Ravens players have tested positive, including reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, as well as five Pro Bowl players: Calais Campbell, Mark Andrews, Matthew Judon, Mark Ingram, and Patrick Ricard.
The Ravens have 20 players left on the Reserve / COVID-19 list. Baltimore added four players (Andrews, Judon, wide receiver Willie Snead IV and cornerback Terrell Bonds) and removed four players (outside of linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, cornerback Iman Marshall and defensive tackle Broderick Washington). Marshall will return to the injured reserve.
The Ravens now have 38 players on their 53-man roster after security guard Tire Phillips (shoulder) activated from injured reserve and cornerback Davontae Harris officially signed.
Monday’s Ravens testing round gave a new positive result, but it’s a player in an injured reserve who hasn’t had close contact with others, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
The only other game that season that had previously been postponed twice was a week five game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. Positive coronavirus tests in New England pushed this game forward October 11-12 before it was played on October 18th.
The Ravens Steelers game is the second Wednesday game in the NFL since 1948. The last before the 2012 season opener was September 22, 1948, when the Los Angeles Rams played against the Detroit Lions.