OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After three postponements, the Ravens and Steelers game has been set for Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 3:40 p.m at Heinz Field.
The game was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving night before at least 18 players for Baltimore tested positive for COVID-19.
The early start on Wednesday was prompted by NBC, which was committed to broadcasting the 88th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, according to reports.
The Ravens will be missing several key players, including quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.
However, the Ravens will get Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins back for the game as long as they test negative for the virus.
Additionally, Baltimore's Week 13 game against Dallas Cowboys will be moved to Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 8:05 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on FOX/NFL Network/Amazon.
"As we continue to follow the advice of the NFL’s health experts, as well as the Ravens’ medical professionals, we are preparing for our game against the Steelers," the Ravens said in a statement. "This evening [Nov. 30], we hosted a safely distanced walk-through/conditioning session at the Under Armour Performance Center. Players arrived already prepared to work out on the field, and they did not enter the locker room or training room."
We intend to hold another walk-through session on Tuesday, in preparation for traveling to Pittsburgh Tuesday evening.
The NFL appears reluctant to add a Week 18 to accommodate these types of issues caused by the worldwide pandemic.
The Ravens currently have six offensive linemen available for the game —tackle, Orlando Brown Jr., guard Bradley Bozeman, rookie center Trystan Colon-Castillo, rookie guards Ben Bredeson and Tyre Phillips and second-year guard Ben Powers.
Baltimore also activated outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, guard D.J. Fluker, and rookie defensive tackle Broderick Washington from Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Overall, Baltimore has 35 players on their 53-man roster available with another 15 players on the practice squad.
Baltimore has a competent backup quarterback in Robert Griffin III, but he will have to play behind a makeshift offensive line against a fierce Steelers pass rush that leads the NFL with 38 sacks
The Ravens' updated reserve/COVID-19 list includes:
Quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Trace McSorley
Fullback Pat Ricard
Tight end Mark Andrews
Wide receiver Willie Snead
Offensive linemen Matt Skura, Par Mekari, and Will Holden
Defensive linemen Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Justin Madubuike, and Jihad Ward
Outside linebackers Matt Judon and Pernell McPhee
Cornerbacks Khalil Dorsey (IR), and Tavon Young (IR)
Long snapper Morgan Cox.