As you surely are aware by now, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ upcoming opponent—whenever the game is played—recently put eight players on the Reserve/Covid-19 List, seven of whom are said to have tested positive. The list for the Baltimore Ravens includes a number of starters, such as defensive lineman Calais Campbell, running back J.K. Dobbins, and centers Matt Skura and Patrick Mekari. Nose tackle Brandon Williams was also placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 List, though not as a confirmed positive, but as a high-risk close contact.
The Ravens themselves announced yesterday evening that they learned a member of their strength and conditioning staff breached Covid-19 protocols, and thus exposed a number of individuals to potential infection. Among the breaches of protocols included his failure to disclose symptoms that he himself was experiencing.
While the identity of this individual has not been revealed, the organization announced that they “have disciplined a staff member for conduct surrounding the recent Covid-19 cases that have affected players and staff at the Ravens”.
According to Tom Pelissero, it was a strength and conditioning coach, and it has also been reported that other strength coaches have also tested positive. It’s fairly likely that this individual is the source, or at least the primary source, of the outbreak that they have experienced.
Pelissero also wrote that the Ravens “potentially could reduce or avoid discipline they face from the league over an outbreak that forced postponement” through their action of proactively disciplining a member of their organization for breach of protocols—which also included not diligently wearing his mask.
Several organizations, including the Steelers, have been fined for breaches of protocols, including more minor violations such as coaches being identified not consistently wearing their masks at all times on the sideline during games.
The most severe discipline so far has come to the Las Vegas Raiders, who after being found in frequent and flagrant breach of protocols had a late-round draft pick taken away from them. The league months ago updated protocols to allow for the potential forfeiture of draft picks or even games in the event that negligence of protocols results in the NFL being forced to reschedule a game.
It is very unlikely that Baltimore would be disciplined at the same level we saw with the Raiders; however, a fine is certainly not out of the question, and frankly, it would probably be a little unreasonable that the organization shouldn’t suffer the way every other organization has for individual minor violations.
I am told that, even though the Ravens disciplined a staff member for conduct related to COVID protocols, it’s still possible the NFL could take some sort of disciplinary action, as it has when it’s found violations with other teams. Not certain, but not ruled out.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) November 26, 2020