“We will continue to monitor developments in consultation with our medical experts,” the NFL said in a statement. “Our foremost concern is the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel. There’s no change to the status of the game.”
The Ravens placed linebacker Pernell McPhee on their covid-19 reserve list Tuesday. That list is for players who test positive for the coronavirus and those determined through contact tracing to have been exposed to it. The Ravens had declined to specify through a team spokesman earlier Tuesday how many players and staffers had tested positive.
“With the health and safety of players and staff remaining the highest priority, the Baltimore Ravens have determined that all further team activities will be conducted virtually today,” the team said in a statement.
The Ravens also said they were canceling all media availability for players and coaches Tuesday because of “the condensed schedule and preparation for the Steelers game.”
Coach John Harbaugh confirmed during a video news conference Monday that Ravens running backs Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins had tested positive. Defensive tackle Brandon Williams was placed in quarantine for five days, as required by NFL protocols, after being identified as a high-risk close contact, Harbaugh said then.
After closing their team facility Monday morning, the Ravens reopened Monday afternoon and were planning to conduct a walk-through later in the day, Harbaugh said. The Ravens held team meetings remotely Monday, according to Harbaugh.
There were reports that two staff members also tested positive in the results returned Monday from Sunday’s game-day testing. The Ravens lost in overtime Sunday to the visiting Tennessee Titans. The Titans had the most extensive coronavirus outbreak on a team when 24 members of the organization tested positive in late September and early October.
The NFL has not rescheduled a game since Week 7, when it preemptively moved the Las Vegas Raiders-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game out of the Sunday night time slot Oct. 25. Before that, there had been no rescheduling of games since Week 5. The NFL has not canceled any games this season.
If there are further coronavirus issues with the Ravens and the NFL decides to reschedule the game, it could try to stage it Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. The larger issue would arise if the game cannot be played early next week. The Ravens (6-4) and Steelers (10-0) have had their bye weeks, so the NFL could not move the game to later in the season without adding an 18th week. League leaders have said they would add a Week 18 to the season if all games cannot be played within the standard 17-week framework.
The Ravens also are scheduled to play a Thursday game next week, Dec. 3 against the Dallas Cowboys. That game could also be affected if this week’s game is pushed back.