The NFL has postponed the Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers Thanksgiving Day game after multiple members of the Ravens organization tested positive for COVID-19.
The game has been rescheduled for Sunday.
“We appreciate the NFL for its diligence in working closely with us to ensure the well-being of players, coaches and staff from both the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers organizations,” the Ravens said in a statement Wednesday. “Protecting the health and safety of each team, in addition to our communities at large, is of utmost importance.”
The postponement comes after Ravens officials announced on Monday that “multiple members” of the organization had tested positive for COVID-19. The individuals began self-quarantining, and the organization began contact tracing, officials said.
Over the next two days, four Ravens players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning they either tested positive for COVID-19 or had been identified as close contacts of someone who tested positive: running backs Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins, defensive tackle Brandon Williams and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee. Ingram and Dobbins had tested positive for the virus, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said.
The team also canceled all team activities, including practice, on Tuesday.
Baltimore added three more players — offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura, and defensive end Calais Campbell — to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday, the team announced.
The Ravens last played the Tennessee Titans home on Sunday.
Some Steelers players expressed frustration at the postponement.
“First the NFL takes away our bye week because another team cant get their Covid situation together, now they take away our Thanksgiving primetime game for the same reason. Smh,” wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster tweeted.
“What a joke….,” wide receiver Chase Claypool tweeted following the news.
The NFL’s other Thanksgiving matchups — Houston-Detroit and Washington-Dallas — are scheduled as planned.
The Steelers will have to adjust stadium guidelines due to COVID-19 restrictions. Team officials announced earlier this week that Heinz Field will be limited to 2,500 people total — players, coaches and stadium staff — following new orders and advisories issued by the state.
The Steelers had been allowing about 5,500 fans into Heinz Field. Starting with its Dec. 6 game, fans will be restricted to family and friends of the players and the organization, officials said.
“Our priority remains the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, gameday workers, and our fans,” Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement.