The NFL had one of their worst weeks of the season trying to contain the spread of COVID-19. The league had to bump the much-anticipated matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens from the prime Thanksgiving night slot.
Multiple Raven players, including quarterback Lamar Jackson, tested positive for the virus. In response, Baltimore shut down its training facility earlier this week. The NFL rescheduled the Steelers and Ravens game to 8 P.M. EST on Tuesday.
NFL let down
Because of the postponed contest, the Ravens and the NFL frustrated countless football fans this week. The other 2 matchups on Thanksgiving were the Houston Texans vs. the Detroit Lions and Washington vs. the Dallas Cowboys. None of those teams sport a .500 record.
Fans across America were irritated Thanksgiving football ended before 8 eastern. The NFL also took heat for not having a week dedicated to making up these games after the regular season. The NFL could have solved the problem of postponed games had they implemented this idea.
In addition to the viewers, the Steelers have to be frustrated. Pittsburgh already lost their bye week due to a COVID outbreak in the Titans organization. Now the Steelers will have to play on Tuesday then Sunday after originally slated to have 10 days off after Thanksgiving night.
Mile High Problem
As if things could not get worse for the NFL, the Denver Broncos have a real issue on their hands. All 4 of their quarterbacks will not be able to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. This all started after Jeff Driskel tested positive on Thursday and came into contact with Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles when none of them were wearing masks, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
As of now, the NFL has not announced a postponement. Denver is not going to forfeit either. With no time to bring in a free-agent quarterback, they will have to go with someone already on the roster. Moreover, it has been reported that wide receiver Kendall Hinton and running back Royce Freeman are Denver’s emergency QB options.
No place like home?
In addition to those problems, now the San Francisco 49ers cannot play in their home stadium. Santa Clara County has decided that no professional or college sports team can practice or play games for 3 weeks.
Therefore, with those rules instated, the 49ers need to find temporary practice and game-day facilities. San Francisco has 2 home games scheduled over the next 3 weeks; December 7th vs. the Buffalo Bills and December 13th vs. Washington.
A huge rivalry game bounced from primetime. An NFL team about to play without a quarterback. A team that does not know where they will be hosting their next home game. Above all, the NFL has a lot to figure out, and there will only be more problems to arise.
Story by Chad Jones
Follow Chad on Twitter @shutupchadjones