On Wednesday the NFL announced that the Ravens-Steelers game—originally slated to be played on Thanksgiving night—would be rescheduled for Sunday, with time and TV network TBD. Later in the day, the league revealed that the game will take place on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. ET and be televised nationally on NBC.
Gov. Wolf’s Order Prohibits Fans Beginning Friday
But the postponement means that fans will not be able to see the game live at Heinz Field. The Steelers Ticket Office has already reached out to ticket holders notifying them that they will not be permitted to attend the rescheduled game, thanks to “new orders and advisories issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that go into effect on Friday, November 27th.”
Meanwhile, several Steelers players have already expressed their dissatisfaction with the NFL’s decision to postpone the game.
A recent tweet from Aditi Kinkhabwala, reporter for NFL Network, explains why the players had such a strong reaction to the news.
According to Kinkhabwala, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had told his players that they would get five days off after playing the Ravens on Thanksgiving night, to make up for them going without a full “bye” week earlier in the season.
Now the players will miss out on having a bye week yet again.
Baltimore Ravens “Have Disciplined a Staff Member”
Pittsburgh Steelers players may get even more upset when they learn about a new report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, who tells us that the Ravens have “disciplined a staff member for conduct regarding their recent COVID-19 cases that affected players and Baltimore staff members.”
No word yet on the conduct in question, but Rapoport’s wording suggests that the staff member may have violated COVID-19 protocols.
Recall that similar news came out in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak among Tennessee Titans players and coaches, which led to the Titans being fined for COVID-19 protocol violations. Never mind the fact that Titans players held a group workout in the midst of their COVID-19 outbreak, which had caused their game against the Steelers to be postponed and later rescheduled.
If a league investigation finds that the Ravens violated protocols, punishment could be forthcoming. The NFL has already punished the Las Vegas Raiders for violations of COVID-19 protocols, fining the organization $500,000 and docking it a sixth-round draft choice.
A number of NFL head coaches have also been fined for not wearing masks on the sideline during games, including Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who was fined $100,000 after the team’s 28-24 victory at Baltimore on November 1st. The Steelers organization was also fined $250,000 for Tomlin’s failure to wear a mask throughout the entire game.
While Heinz Field will not be open to the public for the rescheduled Ravens game—not to mention both of Pittsburgh’s December home games—friends and family members of the players, coaches and staffers will be allowed to attend.
Pittsburgh’s last two home games of the season are scheduled for December 6th versus Washington and December 27th versus Indianapolis.
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