Cleveland Browns rival continue to add to the Covid list
After postponing their game with the Pittsburgh Steelers twice, the Ravens are now reeling, preparing to send former Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III into battle against Pittsburgh on Tuesday. According to Li Cohen of CBSSports, the Ravens have 12 players on the Covid list as of Friday evening, November 27, including Lamar Jackson, QB Trace McSorley, running back Mark Ingram, running back J.K. Dobbins, fullback Patrick Ricard, defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, center Patrick Mekari, center Matt Skura, defensive tackle Brandon Williams, defensive end Calais Campbell, defensive end Pernell McPhee, and long snapper Morgan Cox.
If all these players remain on the list, the Ravens will be without two centers and their long snapper, the quarterback and top two running backs, a starting fullback, and three significant defensive linemen.
First of all, best wishes for a speedy recovery for all of these men. It is, first of all, a human issue rather than a football issue. We are all football fans, but fan to man, we hope that everyone can get through it without too much trouble. Calais Campbell of Baltimore expresses what he’s going through very well. Calais has asthma, and he and his wife also caring for a new baby. This isn’t just about point spreads and wild cards, but literally about life and death.
Nevertheless, the sporting world is going to dope out what this means for football games, playoffs, and all that, while still sending out thoughts, prayers, and well wishes to all those who are battling this terrible virus.
It’s not known for certain whether some of the players may be able to play on Tuesday However, according to the summary reported by Tadd Haislop of the Sporting News, if a player has no symptoms, that player may come off the list after five days if there are two consecutive negative tests. It isn’t clear which Baltimore players, if any, might fall in this category.
Alternatively, if there are players who have demonstrated symptoms, they can return after 10 days if he has been symptom-free for 72 hours. In all cases, they must be cleared by the team’s physician.
How did this mess happen? The Ravens announced that they have fined their strength coach for allegedly not reporting symptoms and not consistently wearing a mask or tracking device. What a disaster. This fellow caused the cancellation of a nationally televised game that was going to generate millions of dollars of revenue and may have blown their chances at making the playoffs if their star players are out for an extended period of time. Why is he not getting fired?
The only possible explanation is that the rest of the team may have been guilty of similar missed behavior and coach John Harbaugh figures it was a team effort, just like winning or losing a football game. Still, not reporting symptoms is total insanity. You cannot be doing this kind of stuff to yourselves, even a football rival.
What does all this mean? The Las Vegas sports betting organizations have taken this game off the boards, meaning that they are not completely sure what will happen. When the game was postponed initially, it seemed that the league might be giving the Ravens a break, which seemed dubious. Given that additional cases have popped up, possibly due to the stupid behavior of their assistant coach, it is clear that this was the correct move. The Steelers should be in a great position to pound the daylights out of the Ravens, which will create a path for the Browns to make the playoffs if they continue to win. Baltimore, who once appeared to be invincible, now are going to try to manufacture wins with backup players.
Next week, Baltimore will play the Dallas Cowboys in Baltimore with short rest. The Cowboys have been decimated by injury as well as stupid contracts by their owner and even a weakened Baltimore with RG3 at quarterback may be too much for the Cowboys. The Ravens will then face Cleveland in a Dec. 14 showdown. They might be starting a few players who not currently on the roster.
The Steelers for their part, get to play Washington next Sunday, a team that is suddenly coming back to life with Alex Smith making a comeback on one leg. That’s a tougher assignment than Baltimore versus the Cowboys, but they should still win.
The Steelers then to travel to Buffalo. The Browns cannot catch the Steelers for the Division title, but could vie for a wild card spot, especially if they beat the Ravens.