Ravens outbreak included four ‘unique’ COVID-19 strains

The Ravens released new details about the severity of their COVID-19 outbreak.

The team said in a press release the NFL informed them that “at least four unique strains” of coronavirus were found inside Baltimore’s facility.

“Three of the four were stopped and not spread within our organization,” Ravens president Dick Cass said in the statement. “Unfortunately, the fourth was a highly-contagious strain and spread throughout our organization.”

In the span of 10 days, the Ravens placed 23 plays on the reserve/COVID-19 list, with at least one player testing positive each day, according to ESPN. The outbreak forced the Ravens-Steelers game to be postponed three times. Baltimore ended up losing 19-14 on Wednesday afternoon.

“From the outset, we have taken the virus seriously, very seriously,” Cass said. “Despite our best efforts, the protocol is only as effective as our weakest link. With a dangerous virus like this, everyone must comply with the protocol to avoid infecting many. We now know that not everyone at the Ravens followed the protocol thoroughly.”

John Harbaugh
Getty Images

The Ravens recently announced that a staff member was disciplined. ESPN reported that a strength and conditioning coach was suspended for not consistently wearing a mask and contract-tracing device in the facility.

After four straight days without a positive test, Baltimore reduced their reserve/COVID-19 list to 10 players on Saturday.

Starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, placed on the list at the end of November, is eligible to return on Sunday, according to NFL Network. The Ravens placed Robert Griffin III on injured reserve Friday, leaving Trace McSorley as the only quarterback on the team’s roster.

Baltimore now must decide if Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, is in good enough game shape to play a key game against the Cowboys on Tuesday.

“We cannot undo what has occurred,” Cass said. “But, we can do our best to learn from what has happened and be vigilant moving forward to ensure that it does not happen again.”


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