Ravens vs. Steelers Thanksgiving game postponed over coronavirus concerns
The NFL announced the move Wednesday, but did not specify a kickoff time or which network would televise it Sunday. Previously, it was scheduled for prime time on NBC.
Baltimore placed outside linebacker Pernell McPhee on the reserve/COVID-19 list, joining running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. The Ravens also have been doing team work virtually.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was one of several Steelers to express his unhappiness with the move.
“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. Smh,” he posted on social media.
Elsewhere, the Cleveland Browns have been practicing in shifts and holding players out as a precaution while dealing with a new round of COVID-19 issues.
The Rams head into their Week 12 contest against the 49ers with the trio of Jared Goff, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp spearheading a strong passing attack.
The team temporarily closed its headquarters in Berea, Ohio, after another, yet-to-be identified player tested positive. The Browns are conducting contact tracing to see if others players were exposed to the infected player.
In the meantime, coach Kevin Stefanksi said practice ahead of Sunday’s game at Jacksonville will be spaced out to reduce the risk of possible spread. Rain has forced workouts to be held in the team’s indoor facility, which is also being used as a weight room due to COVID protocols.
“We’ll space this out a little bit,” Stefanski said. “We’ll bring in the offense, let them get a lift, get them out on the field in the field house to work out, get an individual period and move them around. And then we’ll bring the defense in and have a similar schedule. So we’ll space the two groups out.”
The Browns (7-3) already have four players, including star defensive end Myles Garrett, on the reserve/COVID list. Garrett missed Sunday’s win over Philadelphia and he’ll also sit out this week’s game against the Jaguars (1-9).
Stefanski has not provided any specifics on Garrett’s condition, but said it’s possible the 24-year-old, who has 9½ sacks, could return for the Dec. 6 game against Tennessee.
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn admits the Jets defense won the trenches and kept his team from establishing any kind of rushing attack.
Cleveland’s defense responded without Garrett and had five sacks, a safety and a pick six in the 22-17 win over the Eagles. Defensive end Olivier Vernon had three sacks — and the safety — and was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Stefanski said fullback Andy Janovich and defensive end Joe Jackson will also miss this week’s game. Offensive lineman Chris Hubbard has a chance to be activated from the COVID list this week, Stefanski said.
“The guys are adapting, they’re being flexible,” Stefanski said.
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