The Steelers have lost the chance at an undefeated season all because a Ravens staffer broke COVID-19 protocols.
It wasn’t the Steelers fault the Ravens and it’s staff weren’t concerned with a global pandemic. The Ravens weren’t wearing masks while at the practice facility. If they were wearing their masks like they were supposed to, they could have avoided a breakout. Instead, it forced the Steelers to play the Football Team at a disadvantage.
The Football Team was able to play it’s Thanksgiving game against the Cowboys, giving them 11 days to rest and prepare for the undefeated Steelers. The NFL postponed the Steelers game against the Ravens nearly a week after its scheduled Thanksgiving night slot. This gave Pittsburgh only 4 days to prepare for Washington. The Football Team now had a competitive advantage.
The league made an example out of the Broncos and made them play without a quarterback on the roster because one QB tested positive for the virus. It couldn’t push that game back one day, but could move the Steelers-Ravens game back three times? Roger Goodell has some explaining to do.
The league essentially rewarded the Ravens for having an outbreak. They did not have to play their game against the Cowboys until Tuesday, one day after the Steelers played the Football Team. How is that fair?
The move allowed the team to activate Lamar Jackson off the reserved/COVID list. Jackson was activated on Monday so he would have been able to play. It seems like the NFL just wanted to give the Ravens as much time as possible to activate Jackson. Third string quarterback Trace McSorley, who was second on the depth chart because of RG3’s injury, wouldn’t have to play. Starting McSorley would most likely lead to an L against the Cowboys, hurting their chances at a playoff spot.
It looks like the league seems to want the Ravens in the playoffs at all costs. With a 6-5 record, the Ravens are currently out of the playoffs while the Steelers are securely in. A win against a shitty Cowboys team would help in the effort to get the NFL’s most dynamic player in the playoffs. Getting the Ravens into the playoffs would be a revenue booster as a Ravens-Chiefs matchup would bring in higher ad revenue than a Colts-Chiefs first round match up. It’s a smart business decision. But I see right through you, Roger Goodell.
The extra day of preparation seemed to help the Ravens in their efforts to beat the Cowboys. They ultimately won the game 34-17. That extra day to prepare was huge as they dominated the Cowboys the whole 60 minutes. The Ravens are now 7-5 and have an easier path to the playoffs.
If getting the Ravens in the playoffs is more important than the Steelers undefeated season, then the plan was executed to perfection. But the undefeated storyline would have been more intriguing than seeing Lamar Jackson lose yet another first round playoff game.