After three delays and a nearly weeklong wait, the Ravens are finally heading to Pittsburgh.
With the NFL considering the team’s coronavirus outbreak contained, the Ravens were scheduled to take the short flight into Western Pennsylvania on Tuesday night ahead of a Wednesday afternoon rematch with the Steelers.
After nine straight days of positive COVID-19 tests, the Ravens learned of two more positive tests, one player and one staff member, before they left for Pittsburgh, according to the NFL Network. The NFL Network reported that the league told the team that these individuals were previously identified as potential positives and there was no concern for further spread. A source with knowledge of the situation said earlier Tuesday that the team received the all-clear from the league to travel.
Fears about ongoing transmission had led the NFL to postpone the AFC North battle back from Thanksgiving Day to Sunday afternoon, and then to Tuesday night, and finally to Wednesday afternoon.
With stars like quarterback Lamar Jackson and defensive end Calais Campbell sidelined by positive tests, the Ravens will enter their Week 12 game against the undefeated Steelers as heavy underdogs. Even with the activation of several players off the reserve/COVID-19 list — designated for players who have tested positive or been exposed to the virus — the team has a significantly depleted roster.
Sixteen players, including seven Pro Bowl selections, are on the list, though running backs Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins should be eligible for Wednesday’s game. The Ravens are expected to announce practice squad call-ups by early Wednesday afternoon.
The team also announced Tuesday that offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris and running backs coach Matt Weiss would miss Wednesday’s game because of illness. Assistant offensive line coach Rich Angulo and senior assistant and running backs coach Craig Ver Steeg will fill in, respectively. Players in both position groups have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
The Ravens have lost two straight games overall and three of the past four. They’re currently eighth in the seven-team AFC playoff picture. After Wednesday, the team is scheduled to host the Dallas Cowboys next Tuesday, five days after they were originally scheduled to meet.