Ravens vs. Steelers Thanksgiving Game Moved to Sunday Because of COVID-19November 25, 2020
The Thanksgiving Day matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers has been rescheduled for 1:15 p.m. ET Sunday and will be broadcast nationally on NBC.
ESPN's Dianna Russini and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport first reported the postponement.
The Ravens later announced a staff member has been disciplined for "conduct surrounding the recent COVID-19 cases" the team has experienced.
Also of note, a Pennsylvania state order that goes into effect on Friday will prevent fans from attending the rescheduled matchup at Heinz Field on Sunday:
Four Ravens—Mark Ingram II, J.K. Dobbins, Brandon Williams and Pernell McPhee—have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and a number of other staff members have tested positive.
Calais Campbell, Matt Skura and Patrick Mekari were also placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday.
Multiple Steelers players expressed their frustration with the postponement on Twitter (warning: contains profanity):
The Ravens provided a statement on the postponement:
Frustration among the Steelers players isn't surprising. They already had their bye week moved to Week 4 after a coronavirus outbreak within the Tennessee Titans organization forced the game between the teams to be pushed back to Week 7. That essentially cost them a bye week, since they had been preparing as though they would play the Titans in Week 4.
Now, they are losing a prime-time Thanksgiving game and the mini-bye that would have followed it.
On the other hand, the NFL is going to do everything in its power to avoid canceling a rivalry matchup between two teams that generally dislike each other and are two of the better teams in the league. The Steelers (10-0) and the Ravens (6-4) almost always offer a highlight for the NFL calendar and deliver a potential postseason preview.
Still, the NFL didn't leave much wiggle room to make adjustments to the schedule in a season during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trying to hold a full 16-game schedule with just one bye week per team meant the NFL wouldn't be able to postpone games toward the end of the season or that games would have to be canceled.
It's fair, then, to question whether a shortened slate would have provided a better alternative.