The drama hasn’t subsided surrounding the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Now players are questioning the NFL’s coronavirus protocol.
The drama started when the Ravens-Steelers game was rescheduled three different times because the Ravens had at least one player test positive for COVID-19, 10 consecutive days in a row. It was finally played on Wednesday (Dec. 2), and it ended in a 19-14 loss for the Baltimore Ravens. A loss the organization’s not too happy about because they feel like they weren’t able to properly prepare for the game.
Furthermore, the Ravens had to place 23 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. This was because they either tested positive or were exposed to the virus. The number of players on that list was reduced to 17 for Wednesday afternoon’s game. However, the Ravens did call on 10 players from the practice squad to round out the roster.
Additionally, the Ravens practice facility was closed for five days before Monday. Also, the team was limited to walkthroughs on Monday and Tuesday be for the game.
Ravens Robert Griffin III Fills in for Lamar Jackson
Quarterback Lamar Jackson was forced to sit out of the game, because of his positive COVID-19 test. Stepping in for the reigning MVP was Robert Griffin III. However, Griffin let his voice be heard postgame. He’s questioning if the NFL’s properly considering the players’ safety, especially for those that are stepping off the practice squad and onto the roster.
“It’s not about whether or not guys want to play,” Griffin says. “It’s about whether or not our safety is actually being taken into account. I can’t say much more than that.
Furthermore, the back-up quarterback confesses that he was injured during the game. “I pulled a hamstring today. I’ve never pulled a hamstring in my life,” states Griffin. “You see guys going down left and right.” Griffin was replaced by Trace McSorely.
He continues to let his feelings by about losing the game and the COVID-19 protocols. His bad mood permeated his answers in his postgame interviews.
Griffin even hits back with this answer when reporters asked if the Ravens just can’t be bothered to play.
“It’s not that — we love football. We want to play football, but we also want to make sure our families are safe. Those things [family members becoming ill] don’t get reported,” he states.
Ravens safety Chuck Clark voiced his opinion as well. Additionally questioning why the players were allowed back into the training facility at all on Monday.
Clark states, “I don’t know what comes with me saying this, but, of course, on Monday and Tuesday, we’re wondering, ‘Why were we allowed back in the building if we say everything is based off contact tracing and things like that, and that’s what’s told to us?’.”
Clark thinks that the the factors surrounding these decisions need to be looked a little more closely.
[H/T: Sporting News]