If you've struggled to keep up with the latest news about the Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers matchup, you're not alone. The league has moved the game multiple times, often with players finding out through insiders on Twitter and being left confused themselves. The entire situation has stemmed from positive COVID-19 tests out of Baltimore, which raised safety questions on all fronts. Baltimore had positive tests for players and/or staff nearly 10 days straight, with more than 20 players and staff around the organizations either contracted the virus or were deemed a close contact.
The good news is, after three postponements as the NFL awaited a day wherein the Ravens finally delivered zero positive test results, that day arrived on Wednesday -- hours ahead of scheduled kickoff -- allowing the league to green light the long-awaited Week 12 clash.
The Ravens continued to have positive tests as recently as Tuesday, the same day the players boarded the plane for Pittsburgh. According to the NFL Network's Mike Garofolo, the Ravens learned of two more COVID-19 positives -- one player and one staffer -- just before they headed to Eastern Pennsylvania, reporting, "The NFL told the team these individuals were previously identified as potential positives and there was no concern for further spread." And with that, odds increased the game would take place but, again, not if the Ravens discovered a single positive on Wednesday.
Thankfully for all involved, they did not.
There were rumors the Ravens might boycott the game, questions of whether a forfeit would be in play and comparisons to how the league handled other game situations affected by COVID-19, most recently the Denver Broncos, who played without a quarterback against the New Orleans Saints. It's been a wild ride for the Ravens and Steelers to get to this point -- the latter now having ruled out eight-time Pro Bowl center -- but if you're concerned you might've missed news out of this ever-moving game, don't worry.
We have you covered with answers to all your questions.
How to watch Ravens at Steelers
When was the game first scheduled?
The game was first scheduled for Thanksgiving night. It was then moved to Sunday, then Tuesday, and finally our current landing spot, Wednesday.
The game will be played at 3:40 p.m. ET, because NBC already committed to showing the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and wanted to stand by that commitment.
Wednesday afternoon football it is.
Why was the game moved a third time?
NFL.com explained the league moved the game from Tuesday to Wednesday for another day of COVID-19 testing. It was also moved again "to allow Ravens players time to train and avoid muscle strains, not because of who would or would not be available."
Ravens players were reportedly concerned about not having two days of negative tests after the outbreak. Baltimore also wanted another day of practice, since the facilities had been shut down.
Baltimore's facility reopened Monday night and the team conducted a walkthrough at that time.
With the game moved to Wednesday, running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins are available for the Ravens, since it now clears the 10-day isolation period for them both, though as stated above, the league said moving the game was about safety and not player availability.
Who's out for the Ravens?
Ravens players that will not be able to play in Wednesday's game due to COVID-19 include quarterback Lamar Jackson, tight end Mark Andrews, receiver Willie Snead, fullback Patrick Ricard, centers Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura, outside linebackers Matt Judon and Pernell McPhee, and defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Justin Madubuike. Defensive tackle Brandon Williams is out with an ankle injury. Offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, who was previously on the team's reserve/COVID-19 list, is questionable with a back injury. Cornerback Jimmy Smith (ankle), guard Tyre Phillips (ankle), defensive end Derek Wolfe (illness), and tight end Luke Wilson (illness) are also questionable.
And in the latest twist, the Ravens won't activate Mark Ingram or J.K. Dobbins, who didn't travel with the team to Pittsburgh despite being off the COVID list.
Who's out for the Steelers?
Not only will they miss the dominance of Pouncey at center, but Steelers that will miss Wednesday's game due to COVID-19 are running back James Conner, defensive end Stephon Tuitt and offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins. The Steelers will also be without running back Jaylen Samuels, who will miss his second straight game with a quad injury. Cornerback Joe Haden is listed as questionable with a knee injury.
How will each team will be affected?
The divisional game could have great playoff implications, as the Ravens are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. At 6-4, they could edge back into the playoff picture with a win on Wednesday.
The Steelers are looking to keep control of the No. 1 seed and an undefeated record, as they currently sit at 10-0, their best start in franchise history. The Chiefs and Steelers are currently neck and neck for the spot, with Kansas City at 10-1.
The lack of practice for the Ravens will likely make for a lack of production. With many players and staff testing positive, this also means they could be thin in many areas.
With Jackson out, that will present a massive hurdle for the Ravens, as William Hill Sportsbook has them as 10-point underdogs. Robert Griffin III will be in at QB for Baltimore.
Since the Ravens' Week 11 game, 21 Ravens players have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, with 19 still on the list.
What does this mean for the rest of the season?
As this game was moved, others were moved with it.
The Steelers will host the Washington Football Team on Monday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. ET, rather than on Sunday.
The Ravens will host the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 8:05 p.m. ET, rather than on Thursday night.
What are the fantasy implications?
This is still considered a Week 12 game, so proceed with your fantasy team accordingly.
Jackson, Willie Snead, and Mark Andrews are three of the 12 players the Ravens will be missing. James Conner and Maurkice Pouncey are out for the Steelers, as well as talented pass rusher Stephon Truitt.
And now, finally, the two sides meet for Week 12.