The Baltimore Ravens are finally on their way to Pittsburgh.
The Ravens, after a widespread COVID-19 outbreak delayed the game several times, boarded a plane on Tuesday night to make the tre ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to PennLive’s Aaron Kasinitz.
Travel was reportedly approved by NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills. According to the NFL Network’s Mike Garrafolo, one player and one staffer tested positive for the coronavirus before the team left, though those two had previously tested positive. Players were also reportedly told of two new positive cases while they were on the plane, according to WHO Jeff Zrebiec, one of which practiced with the team in recent days.
Players were told of two new positives while on plane. The player practiced with team last 2 days. https://t.co/Xp3vsEajEg
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) December 2, 2020
While traveling to Pittsburgh doesn’t ensure that the game will be played — there is still plenty of time before the unusually early kickoff — it is an extremely good sign.
Steelers-Ravens finally on pace to play
The NFL — which clearly is willing to play this game and finish the season at nearly any cost — pushed the Ravens-Steelers game back three times from its initial Thanksgiving night slot due to an outbreak within the Ravens organization. It was first moved to Sunday, and then pushed to Tuesday after star quarterback Lamar Jackson joined those who were ruled out.
The league then moved it to Wednesday, though the game will take place at 3:40 p.m. ET due to the already scheduled Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in New York.
While it’s looking like the game will finally happen, the Ravens are going to be extremely short-handed.
Jackson is one of 15 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, which includes several offensive lineman, receiver Willie Snead, tight end Mark Andrews and running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins. The Ravens did elevate four players off the list on Tuesday, however, and will be eligible to bring both Ingram and Dobbins back on Wednesday as long as they test negative.
It’s not clear if either Ingram or Dobbins made the trip or would even be physically ready to compete if allowed.
The team also announced on Tuesday that lineman D.J. Fulker is questionable for the matchup with back spasms and defensive tackle Brandon Williams is out due to an ankle injury. Offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris and running back coach Matt Weiss did not make the trip due to illness.
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