The NFL’s Super Bowl timeline still holds.
The National Football League has been lucky during the COVID-19 pandemic. The league remains on course to start its playoff season on January 9th and play the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida on February 7th. The dream scenario is to get through the regular season, get the playoffs done and have a two-week Super Bowl build up. But the COVID-19 pandemic is showing no signs of abating and has gotten progressively worse during the month of November. Yet the NFL’s luck has not run out, not yet anyway. The Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game that was supposed to be played on Thanksgiving evening in Pittsburgh was postponed until Sunday because there is a COVID-19 outbreak within the Baltimore organization. The Sunday contest has now been pushed back until Tuesday. The NFL does not want Baltimore to forfeit the game to Pittsburgh because of COVID-19. The Pittsburgh Steelers players don’t want a forfeit for financial reasons. Apparently, the NFL has decided if there is no game, Pittsburgh could be declared the winner but Steelers players and presumably coaches and staff would not get paid. Steelers personnel had nothing to do with Baltimore.
Was there a breach of COVID-19 protocol in the Ravens workplace? The NFL will figure that out. Earlier this year there was a problem with the Las Vegas Raiders and COVID-19 protocol. The Raiders franchise was docked a sixth-round draft pick and some people in the organization were fined. Pittsburgh also has players who are on the NFL’s COVID-19 restricted list. The NFL’s season is running out of time if the schedule remains as is. There could be changes if an extra week is needed for COVID-19 illnesses, the playoff dates are not set in stone and the Super Bowl could be played on February 7th, 14th or 21st. The league wants to play for two financial reasons, TV and marketing cash.