It’s game day! No need to double-check your calendar. For just the sixth time in NFL history and the second since 1948, there will be a game played on Wednesday. Late Monday, the league chose to push the Ravens/Steelers game back one day, scheduling it for 3:40 EST, later today. The extra day was expected to give both teams more time to prepare as well as give more information as to whether the game should even take place.
An initial report on Tuesday suggested the Ravens had no new positives, meaning the game would not be delayed yet again. After the Ravens team had already boarded the plane, they did learn of a pair of positive tests, though they proceeded with travel plans. The two new cases include one player and a staffer. Neither traveled with the team, though the player did reportedly participate in team walkthroughs the past two days. The league’s response was that there’s “no concern for further spread.”
With both teams involved already passing their bye week, the league is clearly motivated to keep this game on the Week 12 schedule and not create a potential “Week 18.” The league has been very inconsistent, at best, in handling this game.
Now, for the on-field action. The Ravens will be without DT Brandon Williams, who was activated from the COVID/reserve list but is still dealing with an ankle injury. RBs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins were also activated from the COVID list, though it is unclear if they will play against the Steelers. Neither player was allowed to travel with the team Tuesday but could still potentially join the team in Pittsburgh in time for the matchup. If the duo misses the game, RB Gus Edwards would be the projected starter and lead back.
More COVID Impact
After having to rely on practice squad WR Kendall Hinton to play the quarterback position last week, the trio of Denver Broncos QBs Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles each tested negative once again and were cleared to return to the team. Lock is expected to return to the starting lineup against the Chiefs in Week Thirteen.
The Browns activated DE Myles Garrett from the COVID-19 list and he is expected to play against the Titans this week…The San Francisco 49ers activated rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk from the COVID list and he’ll be in action against the Bills this week…
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In case you missed it, the Houston Texans depth chart took a major hit on Monday when WR Will Fuller was suspended for the remainder of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. This comes on the heels of veteran WR Randall Cobb suffering a toe injury that landed him on the injured reserve list along with the team’s somewhat surprising decision to release WR Kenny Stills.
The loss of these three receivers will leave Houston turning to WR Keke Coutee as their number two receiver moving forward, behind WR Brandin Cooks. Coutee was hyped as a potential breakout player prior to the 2019 season before failing to make a real impact and he has just six receptions this season. Late-round rookie WR Isaiah Coulter should also get a big opportunity for playing time. He’s missed the majority of the season with a neck injury.
49ers HC Kyle Shanahan admitted he does not expect DL Dee Ford, who is on the injured reserve list with a back injury, to return to the field this season. Ford is widely expected to move on following a disappointing tenure in San Francisco. … Shanahan did express a degree of optimism when it comes to missing offensive stars QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and TE George Kittle (foot), who are both on the injured reserve list. Shanahan said he was “holding out hope” the two could return to the field in the final two weeks of the regular season, though admitted it was not guaranteed either would return at all this year. … Seattle DE Carlos Dunlap required an MRI after he suffered a foot injury on Monday Night Football. Dunlap has been a true difference maker for the Seahawks Defense since he was acquired in trade with the Cincinnati Bengals. ... Washington RB Bryce Love, on injured reserve with a knee injury, will not return to the field this year. … Veteran RB David Johnson is eligible to return from the injured reserve list in Week 13. Johnson landed on the IR after suffering a concussion, though RB Duke Johnson has failed to impress in his opportunity as the Texans lead back. The former Cardinals back should return to the starting lineup once he’s fully cleared. … After suffering an ankle injury that forced him from the game, Vikings RB Dalvin Cook is “just kind of beat up” right now, according to HC Mike Zimmer. Cook has been a workhorse since missing a game several weeks ago, which has surely attributed to the wear and tear on his body. … According to Dolphins beat writers, there is “a degree of optimism internally” that rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa could play against the Bengals in Week 13. The rookie missed last week with a thumb injury, though he was reportedly “very close” to playing. If Tagovailoa can’t go, veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick would draw another start.