The game was initially scheduled as the prime-time matchup on Thanksgiving night, but was pushed to Sunday due to positive COVID-19 tests on the Ravens. They had four consecutive days of positive tests. It will now be played on Tuesday at 8 p.m., which creates further scheduling issues for the NFL next week.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini first reported the game’s move to Tuesday.
The Ravens were set to host the Dallas Cowboys on “Thursday Night Football.” But they won’t be able to play on a two-day turnaround, which means that game likely gets pushed back to Sunday. As happened earlier this year during the Tennessee Titans outbreak, there would be no game Thursday night.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin canceled practice Friday while the team awaited news on the NFL’s game-day decision. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said their facility won’t be open until at least Monday.
Why Tuesday is safer than Sunday
The Ravens returned positive COVID-19 tests Monday through Thursday this week, signaling an outbreak. Runnings backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram tested positive on Sunday night and the team shut down its facility on Monday. The vast majority of infections take 3-7 days to be detectable by a test, so even though teammates were apart there were still positive results.
That’s why the game was pulled off of Thursday’s schedule. It was to prevent the virus from further spreading undetected through the Ravens and also potentially infecting the Steelers.
Pushing the game back again to Tuesday is the safest arrangement, Yahoo Sports Henry Bushnell wrote, since it “all but shut out the outbreak’s window.”