Shortly after the NFL rescheduled the Ravens-Steelers game to Wednesday at 3:40 p.m. ET, the Steelers learned that their Week 13 home game against Washington had been moved from Sunday to Monday at 5 p.m. ET. The NFL has also moved the Ravens-Cowboys game, initially scheduled for this Thursday, to next Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. ET. Washington-Pittsburgh will precede the Bills-49ers game that will kick off at 8:15 p.m. EST on ESPN.
NBC’s decision to give the Ravens-Steelers game a 3:40 kickoff time is because of the network’s commitment to broadcasting the 88th Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday night, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Although the league has not announced who will broadcast the Washington-Steelers game, the Ravens-Cowboys game can be seen on FOX/NFL Network/Amazon. NBC will broadcast Wednesday’s game between Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
The league’s ongoing schedule shuffling is the result of the Ravens‘ recent COVID-19 outbreak that has resulted in more than 20 Baltimore players ending up on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list. Among the 12 Ravens players who will not face the Steelers include quarterback Lamar Jackson, receiver Willie Snead, offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura and defensive linemen Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams and Justin Madubuike. The Ravens will be getting back running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins (who were previously on the reserve/COVID-19 list) after the league moved the game from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Last week, the Ravens disciplined a staff member for “conduct surrounding the recent COVID-19 cases that have affected players and staff.” The Baltimore staff member who breached league protocols is said to be a strength and conditioning coach, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.
“We appreciate the efforts of the NFL and Pittsburgh Steelers throughout this process, while we all work to create an environment that keeps the health and safety of everyone involved at the forefront of each decision,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement late last week. “Our organization has a plan in place, and we will be prepared to play the Steelers. We thank everyone for their adaptability and look forward to the challenge of facing a very good football team at Heinz Field on Tuesday night.”
Although the Ravens have been unable to meet as a team since the outbreak began, the Steelers were back on the practice field on Sunday after coach Mike Tomlin gave his team three consecutive days off. Tomlin said Sunday that the Steelers have no more positive cases after placing defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs and Stephon Tuitt, offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins and running back James Conner on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list over the past three days. The team activated Buggs and rookie offensive lineman Kevin Dotson off of the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday.
Washington will have 11 days between games after it defeated the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Conversely, the Steelers will have just five days between their game against the Ravens and next week’s game against Washington. The Cowboys will have 12 days between games, twice the amount of days the Ravens will have.