On Monday, the Baltimore Ravens announced that several members of their team had tested positive for COVID-19 just hours after they suffered a loss to the Tennessee Titans. This was an especially worrisome situation since the Ravens are on a short week and set to take on the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers this Thursday, which means the players who tested positive or identified as close contacts would automatically be ruled out for the important divisional matchup.
Things got worse as the day progressed, as it was reported that top running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram had tested positive for the coronavirus. Naturally, you would imagine that the Steelers would feel even better about their chances to remain undefeated, but head coach Mike Tomlin believes this actually could work in the Ravens' favor in some ways.
"We are desperate too," Tomlin said, via the Steelers' official website. "We are all desperate to win this week. I imagine they view us in the same way, or I would imagine it would behoove them to do so. That is our attitude each and every week. We respect everyone and the level of desperation and urgency everyone has as we step into the stadium ready to match it."
The Steelers beat the Ravens by a score of 28-24 earlier this month, as Baltimore's four turnovers proved too much to overcome. While the Ravens will certainly miss Dobbins and Ingram, they have two capable backs who are ready to step up in their places with Gus Edwards and Justice Hill.
With the Ravens' loss to the Titans in Week 11, they fell to third place in the AFC North. Tomlin is correct in saying that his rivals will be desperate for a win no matter who they may be missing on Thursday night.