The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will play on Sunday instead of Thanksgiving as initially planned. With the Ravens in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak that has already put six players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and with more expected to come today, the NFL made the wise decision to push the game back a few days so Baltimore and the league could better control things. Apparently, the Steelers took that as a personal affront.
Several Pittsburgh players took to Twitter to share their frustration as the news broke of the game being postponed. Most players seemed exasperated by the rescheduling, especially after the Steelers had a Week 4 game against the Tennessee Titans moved as well (adjusting Baltimore’s schedule too).
But not everyone took it as well as those players did. Several of the Steelers’ starters are apparently livid over the schedule change.
First the NFL takes away our bye week because another team can’t get their Covid situation together, now they take away our Thanksgiving primetime game for the same reason. Smh.
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) November 25, 2020
I’m not entirely sure why the players are that enraged by the schedule change. The game still happens in Week 12 and none of the players who tested positive will be eligible to play Sunday just like they wouldn’t on Thursday. The best-case scenario for Baltimore is that they’d get a few extra days of rest, though that would obviously extend to Pittsburgh as well. What it does do is allow the team to get a better hold on the outbreak so they don’t possibly spread it to the Steelers’ players and staff members, which seems like the ideal goal for everyone.
It would be fair to criticize the decision and the Ravens had they broken any protocols, but there has been no indication Baltimore has done that here. Everyone understood this scenario was a real possibility, and in this case, the NFL is putting the health and safety of its players, staff members, and officials in front of a Thanksgiving tradition. That’s something players should be applauding instead of whining about.