The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will not play on Thanksgiving night. On Wednesday, the NFL announced the game had been moved from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. The decision was made after seven players on the Ravens roster tested positive for COVID-19. Sunday's game will kick off at 1:15 p.m. on NBC.
"We appreciate the NFL for its diligence in working closely with us to ensure the well-being of players, coaches and staff from both the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers organizations," the Ravens said in a statement. "Protecting the health and safety of each team, in addition to our communities at large, is of utmost importance. We will continue to follow guidance from the NFL and its medical experts, as we focus on safely resuming preparations for Sunday's game."
Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster doesn't like they have to wait another few days to play as he and other players were looking forward to the mini-bye week before their game against the Washington Football Team on Dec. 6. "First, the NFL takes away our bye week because another team can’t get their Covid situation together, now they take away our Thanksgiving primetime game for the same reason," Schuster wrote on Twitter.
According to ESPN, this marks the 13th time a game has been postponed this year due to COVID-19 issues. However, there hasn't been a postponement or any movement of games since Week 5. The Thursday night game movement makes it the first time since 2005 that only two games will be played on Thanksgiving.
"We feel like we have a really good handle on exactly when the transmission occurred and how it occurred," Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL's chief medical officer, told NFL Network on Wednesday. "I think that we feel like we're a couple of days away from being out of that window of vulnerability for that transmission event."
The Ravens' COVID-19 outbreak began on Monday when running backs J.K Dobbins and Mark Ingram tested positive for the virus. From there, defensive lineman Brandon Williams, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura and defensive end Calais Campbell were placed on the COVID-19 list. They are set to play on Sunday and again next Thursday, Dec. 3, when they face the Dallas Cowboys.