The Ravens’ coronavirus outbreak worsened Sunday, with Ravens tight end Mark Andrews and outside linebacker Matthew Judon testing positive, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
Both Pro Bowl players will miss Tuesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, already postponed twice because of the Ravens’ mounting caseload. An NFL spokesman said Sunday morning that the game remains on as scheduled, as the team’s recent positive cases were “expected as a result of contact tracing.”
The Ravens entered Sunday with 20 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, designated for players who have either tested positive or been exposed to the virus. That number could change as players considered “high-risk” close contacts continue to test negative, but the Ravens already had lost stars such as quarterback Lamar Jackson, defensive end Calais Campbell and running backs Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins to positive tests.
The Ravens are under investigation for potential coronavirus protocol violations, according to ESPN, and could face discipline from the NFL. The league has been more aggressive in punishing repeat offenders, even docking draft picks, but penalties for first-time violators have included significant fines.
Andrews, who has Type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition in which the body’s pancreas produces little or no insulin, is the Ravens’ leading receiver (38 catches for 454 yards). Dr. Jay Skyler, the deputy director of clinical research and academic programs at the Diabetes Research Institute, told The Baltimore Sun in June that if Andrews’ blood sugar is well managed, he doesn’t have “any greater risk by having Type 1 diabetes and playing football than anyone else.”
“I don’t think there’s any difference for a physically fit person with a well-controlled blood sugar to be concerned about any excess risk of COVID,” Skyler said.
Andrews said before the season that he never considered opting out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19. “I’m treating myself as a normal person,” he said in August. “If I would get COVID, it would interact just like anybody else because I treat myself like anybody else would.”
Judon, who is tied for the team lead with four sacks, was the final Ravens player made available to local reporters last week. He acknowledged that playing football this season could leave players at greater risk for the virus, and said he was hopeful that the teammates who’d tested positive would be spared symptoms.
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“You also think about their families, and you just keep those people in your prayers,” he said. “With that being said, you all and everybody that’s here in this, pray for the families that have been affected by COVID-19 and continue to be affected by COVID-19. We just hope that they are able to return back to the field, to the team and to themselves and their families as quick as possible.”