Inside the outbreak: The latest in the Ravens’ COVID-19 saga

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — One of many greatest outbreaks in sports activities has decimated the Baltimore Ravens’ roster and postponed one of many NFL’s finest rivalries thrice.

The Ravens have gone from a preseason Tremendous Bowl favourite to the face of the NFL’s tumultuous and unpredictable 2020 season after no less than a dozen gamers, together with the reigning NFL MVP in Lamar Jackson, have examined optimistic for COVID-19 in Week 12. The 20 gamers presently on Baltimore’s reserve/COVID-19 listing consists of seven Professional Bowl gamers from final season and accounted for 85 begins this season.

As of Monday, Baltimore has now had 9 straight days of optimistic exams. The coronavirus has unfold all through the group, infecting gamers, coaches and assist employees. There are no less than 30 members of the group who’ve both examined optimistic or had been recognized as a high-risk shut contact, a supply stated.

The Ravens’ Week 12 recreation in opposition to the rival Steelers, which was initially scheduled for Thanksgiving evening, has been moved to Sunday to Tuesday to now Wednesday.

This is a take a look at how one of many hardest weeks within the Ravens’ franchise historical past unfolded and the place it presently stands:

Monday: Nov. 30: The Ravens had their 9:30 a.m. morning follow canceled by the NFL a day earlier than their scheduled recreation in Pittsburgh, a supply informed ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The league was awaiting outcomes of the newest exams earlier than permitting the gamers to follow, a supply added. The Ravens waited a lot of the day not figuring out whether or not they would follow once more that afternoon and board a aircraft to play the NFL’s solely undefeated workforce. The day ended with the sport between AFC North rivals getting moved for the third time in six days. Baltimore hasn’t had a full workforce follow since Nov. 20, a span of 10 days.

The Ravens issued a press release in regards to the newest postponement:

“As we continue to follow the advice of the NFL’s health experts, as well as the Ravens’ medical professionals, we are preparing for our game against the Steelers.

This evening, we hosted a safely distanced walk-through/conditioning session at the Under Armour Performance Center. Players arrived already prepared to work out on the field, and they did not enter the locker room or training room.

We intend to hold another walk-through session on Tuesday, in preparation for traveling to Pittsburgh Tuesday evening.”

Sunday, Nov. 29: Snead IV examined optimistic. He was the seventh starter on the Baltimore offense to both check optimistic or get recognized as a high-risk shut contact. This marked the eighth straight day of no less than one optimistic check for the Ravens.

Saturday, Nov. 28: Two Professional Bowl gamers, Andrews and Judon, examined optimistic. Andrews is considered one of two present NFL gamers with Sort 1 diabetes. The Ravens positioned six extra gamers on the reserve/COVID-19 listing: Holden, LB Jaylon Ferguson, OT D.J. Fluker, DT Broderick Washington, CB Khalil Dorsey and CB Tavon Younger. The Ravens have positioned 18 gamers on the listing up to now six days.

Friday, Nov. 27: The Week 12 recreation between the Ravens and Steelers is moved from Sunday to Tuesday. Additional, Baltimore is now scheduled to play host to the Cowboys at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, Dec. 7. Will Holden, a follow squad participant who suited up for the Ravens’ final recreation, examined optimistic. It’s the sixth straight day of no less than one optimistic check.

Thursday, Nov. 26: The Ravens’ outbreak creates its greatest headline when Jackson examined optimistic. He’s among the many 4 newest Ravens gamers to check optimistic, together with a employees member, a supply stated. The Ravens imagine Jackson was contaminated Sunday, when he took snaps from Mekari throughout the recreation and was in shut contact with Dobbins and Ingram as a result of his locker is correct subsequent to theirs, a supply stated. Below league guidelines, Jackson will quarantine for 10 days, which suggests he would miss Sunday’s recreation at Pittsburgh, in addition to Thursday evening’s recreation in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys.

In a span of 5 days, Baltimore has had 12 gamers check optimistic. Ravens coach John Harbaugh informed his gamers they would not return to the workforce facility till Monday on the earliest within the curiosity of workforce security.

“We just want to contain this outbreak! Speaking from experience … you don’t want to catch COVID!,” Campbell wrote on Twitter. “This virus is brutal! I pray no one else has to go thru this. This is bigger than football.”

Wednesday, Nov. 25: At 12:50 p.m. ET, the NFL introduced that the Thursday evening recreation between the Ravens and the undefeated Steelers was being moved to Sunday afternoon. This determination comes 31 hours earlier than the scheduled kickoff. It has since been moved once more, to Tuesday evening.

That night, the Ravens launched a one-sentence assertion {that a} employees member was disciplined “for conduct surrounding the recent COVID-19 cases that have affected players and staff at the Ravens.” A supply confirmed this was the energy and conditioning coach who had examined optimistic final week and did not comply with league COVID-19 protocols.

Defensive finish Jihad Ward, who was anticipated to exchange McPhee (who’s on the reserve/COVID-19 listing), examined optimistic. He’s the eighth Ravens participant to get contaminated. A place coach in addition to a assist employees member additionally examined optimistic.

Tuesday, Nov. 24: The workforce facility is shut down a second time at midday. By that point, the Ravens had already carried out conferences and one other on-field exercise, a supply confirmed.

At this level, the Ravens had been nonetheless scheduled to depart the following day for Pittsburgh for his or her Thanksgiving evening recreation at Heinz Subject. The workforce had chartered an additional aircraft to extend social distancing.

Then, three extra gamers — defensive finish Calais Campbell, beginning heart Patrick Mekari and backup heart Matt Skura — examined optimistic. There’s additionally a report that third-string quarterback Hint McSorley, who was already on the listing after being recognized as a detailed contact final week, additionally examined optimistic. That brings Baltimore’s optimistic exams for gamers to seven.

Monday, Nov. 23: The Ravens’ workforce facility is closed within the morning, however the NFL approved Baltimore to reopen within the afternoon. After digital workforce and position-group conferences, the workforce carried out a walk-through throughout which everybody wore masks.

“We all knew that us playing football would put us at a bigger risk,” Judon stated after the walk-through. “We knew we [could] obviously get the virus, and we all knew that this wasn’t something to be played around with.”

Outdoors linebacker Pernell McPhee, who at all times ended his media periods this season by saying, “Stay positive, test negative,” turns into the third participant this week to check optimistic. Nostril deal with Brandon Williams is recognized as a “high-risk” shut contact and is placed on the reserve/COVID-19 listing.

Sunday, Nov. 22: Working backs J.Okay. Dobbins and Ingram examined optimistic for COVID-19 simply hours after the Ravens’ emotional 30-24 time beyond regulation loss to the Titans. These are the primary reported circumstances of the week involving Ravens gamers in what would turn out to be one of many largest outbreaks within the league.

Thursday, Nov. 19: A energy and conditioning coach for the Ravens examined optimistic, in keeping with a supply. He did not report signs and did not at all times put on a masks contained in the workforce facility, the supply added. To make issues worse, the coach did not put on his tracing gadget always, which made it harder to find out “high-risk” shut contacts.

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