Baltimore Ravens gamers expressed frustration Wednesday over what has develop into one of many largest COVID-19 outbreaks in skilled sports activities.
After their 19-14 road loss to the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore gamers questioned an absence of preparation in addition to among the NFL’s selections throughout a time when at the very least one Ravens participant examined constructive for 10 straight days.
“It is not about whether or not or not guys wish to play,” quarterback Robert Griffin III stated after filling in for reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, who examined constructive final week. “It is about whether or not or not our security is definitely being taken under consideration. I am unable to say far more than that.”
The Ravens-Steelers recreation, which was initially scheduled for Thanksgiving night time, was performed six days later after three postponements. Baltimore was restricted to walk-throughs on Monday and Tuesday after being shut out of its facility for 5 days.
Griffin described the socially distanced walk-throughs as “irregular” and indicated they weren’t run at full velocity. He believes the shortage of full practices contributed to his harm within the second quarter.
“I pulled a hamstring in the present day,” Griffin stated. “I’ve by no means pulled a hamstring in my life. You see guys happening left and proper.”
Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith left with a groin harm within the second quarter. Defensive finish Derek Wolfe, security DeShon Elliott, offensive deal with D.J. Fluker and cornerback Marcus Peters all suffered accidents however returned.
One other problem that Ravens gamers had was with the choice to reopen the staff facility. After two Baltimore gamers examined constructive following an time beyond regulation loss to the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 22, the NFL closed the Ravens’ facility that Monday morning earlier than permitting gamers and coaches to reenter Monday afternoon. The ability remained open till Tuesday at midday. Throughout that point, the Ravens held a walk-through with gamers sporting masks.
“I do not know what comes with me saying this, however, after all, on Monday and Tuesday, we’re questioning, ‘Why had been we allowed again within the constructing if we are saying all the pieces relies off contact tracing and issues like that, and that is what’s advised to us?'” Ravens security Chuck Clark stated. “We have got to have a look at a few of these issues.”
Since Nov. 23, the Ravens have positioned a complete of 23 gamers on the reserve/COVID-19 record for both testing constructive or being recognized as a high-risk shut contact. Baltimore (6-5) has seen that quantity decreased to 17 gamers now, but it surely needed to promote 10 gamers from the apply squad Wednesday to fill out a 48-man game-day roster.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh stated it has been an emotional time for the staff, and that everybody was clear and trustworthy in answering the gamers’ questions.
“I simply really feel just like the league did their greatest. We did our greatest,” Harbaugh stated. “We did not bat 1.000; no one did. The league did not, no one did. You possibly can’t bat 1.000 in opposition to this factor. However I believe our response, by way of our effort, was an ideal effort.”
Requested if there was concern that any protocol violations would lead to self-discipline from the league, Harbaugh stated, “It is not a time to take the accusatory stance; that is not the place I might take. I would take the place that our guys fought like loopy, and I am pleased with what they did.”
There have been some gamers who skilled signs, however nobody grew to become critically sick, in accordance with Harbaugh. There have been situations the place gamers handed the coronavirus to relations, Griffin stated.
“These issues do not get reported,” Griffin stated. “So, when individuals assume, ‘Oh, perhaps they only do not wish to play. They simply do not wish to do that,’ it is not that — we love soccer. We wish to play soccer, however we additionally wish to be sure that our households are secure.”
Jackson, who examined constructive on Thanksgiving, will full his 10-day quarantine Saturday. If he checks unfavorable, he could be obtainable to play in Tuesday night time’s recreation in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys.
“He is in good spirits,” stated Ravens vast receiver Marquise Brown, who’s Jackson’s shut good friend. “He advised us to go on the market and attempt to win this recreation. Simply wishing for a speedy restoration for him.”