The game was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving night, but it was rescheduled to Sunday and then to Tuesday night. The game has been rescheduled for 3:40 p.m. ET on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, according to the league.
The Ravens will be playing their second straight road game after losing 26-16 at New England. Baltimore lost running back Ray Rice to a two-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been fined $56,924 for his hit on Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith during last week's game. The penalty is the maximum allowed by the league.
Brown was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness for hitting Smith so hard that he caused him to suffer a concussion. The penalty came after Brown grabbed Smith by the face mask as he went down. He was not ejected from the game.
Smith did not return to the contest and had an MRI exam on Monday. It was determined he suffered a concussion and missed the remainder of the game.
With Rice out, Justin Forsett will get the start at running back for Baltimore. He had seven carries for 28 yards and a touchdown in Rice's absence.
James Harrison will be looking to continue his strong play against the run with Rice out.
Because of coronavirus concerns in Baltimore, the Ravens-Steelers game on Thanksgiving night has been rescheduled until Sunday afternoon. The NFL confirmed the change on Wednesday, scheduling the game at 1:15 p.m. EST on NBC. It was previously slated for NBC's Thanksgiving Day prime-time transmission. The new date and time will give the league two games on NBC this season, one Thursday night and one Sunday.
The decision was made in consultation with local officials and following discussions with other teams in the NFL. All non-essential staff members at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore will be dismissed by noon on Friday, while employees at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh will be released following their morning workout session. The postponement will allow both cities time to prepare for possible additional outbreaks of COVID-19.
Thanksgiving is known as a family holiday in America. Many people will be traveling to see relatives over the holiday period, which could put them at risk of catching the virus. The NFL decided it wasn't worth the risk and chose to postpone its game so everyone could have more time with their families.
Baltimore has had six cases of COVID-19 and one death due to the disease. The city has taken several precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, including shutting down schools and universities for an extended break.
Pittsburgh has had four cases of the virus and no deaths.
Why is the game scheduled on Wednesday? The NFL first postponed the Ravens-Steelers game from prime time on Thanksgiving Day to Sunday afternoon because the Ravens continued to test positive for COVID-19 within the organization. As the epidemic continued over the weekend, the NFL rescheduled the game for Tuesday night.
The decision was made so both teams could avoid traveling on Monday night/Tuesday morning before their bye weeks. The Steelers are off until November 17 when they play host to the Jacksonville Jaguars while the Ravens have a one-week break after their Thursday night loss to the New York Jets.
Although both teams are at home during that week, there's no guarantee they'll be healthy by then. Given the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, the NFL decided it was in everyone's best interest if they didn't travel or practice together. Also keep in mind that both Baltimore and Pittsburgh have strong local fan bases but still draw large numbers of visitors each year. If either city decides to cancel games because of safety concerns, it could damage business for other events and potentially impact how much revenue each team generates.
There's also the issue of ratings. The NFL wants to make sure there are enough people watching its games to justify keeping them on television during this difficult time. A lot can happen between now and October, but based on previous years, we can assume that ratings will take a hit without the traditional Thursday Night Football matchup to attract viewers.
As a consequence of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis inside the Ravens' organization, the game between Pittsburgh and Baltimore has been postponed for Tuesday night at 8 p.m., the NFL stated Friday. The game will be televised on NBC. Our organization has a strategy in place, and we will be ready to take on the Steelers. We're looking forward to getting back on the field together.
Additionally, the league announced that all remaining games scheduled for April as well as the entire schedule for May have been pushed back. The new date for the first game is expected to be mid-to-late June. The season is expected to be completed by late July or early August at the latest.
The announcement came one day after the NFL said it was canceling its season because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was believed that the decision had been made before Thursday's game between the Steelers and Ravens was canceled, but the league gave no indication of when or if it would be played again.
The cancellation is expected to result in huge losses for all involved. The NFL has not released any figures yet, but it is estimated that the loss will be around $1 billion due to reduced attendance and TV ratings. Also, hundreds of jobs could be lost as a result of the shutdown.