The NFL announced on Thanksgiving Eve that the Ravens vs. Steelers game has been postponed from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon at 1:15 PM. The reason behind it is because of concerns surrounding COVID-19.
Ravens-Steelers game postponed until Sunday afternoon.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 25, 2020
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh announced on Monday that both running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins tested positive for the coronavirus, and would be out Thursday night’s game.
Four new positives were announced on Tuesday and by Wedensday, a total of 10 cases had been confirmed by the team.
Defensive tackle Brandon Williams, quarterback Trace McSorley, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, and cornerback Iman Marshall were all placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Willams was the only one deemed as close contact.
Why Didn’t The NFL Postpone 49ers-Packers?
NFL fans, mainly 49ers fans, are unhappy with the league’s decision to move Thursday night’s game. When the Niners had a virus outbreak within their organization ahead of their Thursday night game against the Packers, the NFL ignored the decision to postpone it. That was just two weeks ago.
“This decision was made out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts,” the NFL said via a statement.
Fans took to Twitter to express their frustration.
The 49ers were without Trent Williams and wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Brandon Aiyuk. Star wideout Deebo Samuel was also on the list but was already ruled out of the game due to a hamstring injury.
San Fransisco entered the game with just two healthy wide receivers, one of whom was questionable heading into the matchup. They were also forced to elevate players from their practice squad.
The Packers also had players who landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list before that game.
L o L https://t.co/LrxLBg28CB
— BA (@THE2ERA) November 25, 2020
The league has no standard policy. They played a Packers-49ers game on Thursday night in a very similar situation with COVID risks. That doesn't make sense.
I don't have a problem moving it to Sunday personally, but consistency is lacking here.
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) November 25, 2020
So… how is the Ravens/Steelers situation any different than 49ers/Packers a few weeks ago? Why the hell did the 49ers have to play on Thursday?
— Corbin Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) November 25, 2020
Push through for the 49ers/Packers game and give Pittsburgh/Baltimore a postponement until 3 days later. Sounds about right…
— Coach Yac 🗣 (@Coach_Yac) November 25, 2020
So they can’t postpone the 49ers Packers game but they can the Ravens and Steelers game? https://t.co/SNrKHSj2VD
— Chandler (@cd0ggie) November 25, 2020
…. In the SF/GB instance, cases were isolated and the NFL was confident "there was no longer concern for more spread among either team."
Note: Two Packers players were added to the COVID-19 the day after the 49ers-Packers.
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) November 25, 2020
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What’s The Difference?
The supposed difference for the league following through with canceling the Ravens-Steelers game is that Baltimore is reportedly dealing with a significantly larger breakout with at least 10 positive COVID-19 tests among players, coaches, and support staff, per CBS Sports.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Thursday night’s game was not postponed due to the Ravens being down a few players, but due to the number of players deemed close contacts.
The league just wants a few more days to ensure the spread is contained.
49ers Currently on COVID-19/Reserve List
San Francisco currently has nine players affected by COVID-19. Below is a list of 49ers players currently on the COVID-19/reserve list and the date they were placed on it.
-DL Arik Armstead, Nov 16
-DL Javon Kinlaw, Nov 18
-C Hroniss Grasu, Nov 19
-LB Joe Walker, Nov 19
-WR Brandon Aiyuk, Nov 20
-TE Daniel Helm, Nov 20
-T Trent Williams, Nov 20
-DT D.J. Jones, Nov 23
-DE Jordan Willis, Nov 23
While the team can’t announce who tested positive, we do know Williams did and it has been reported that Armstead probably did as well. The others are most likely close contacts.