Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III and several other Baltimore players questioned the NFL's decision to proceed with the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers while at least one Baltimore player had tested positive for the coronavirus for 10 straight days.
The Ravens and Steelers, who were originally scheduled to meet on Thanksgiving, finally played their Week 12 game on Wednesday after three postponements. The Ravens suffered a 19-14 loss to the Steelers and several Baltimore players contracted injuries, likely as a result of a lack of preparation and practice for the game.
"It's not about whether or not guys want to play," Griffin III said after the game, per ESPN. "It's about whether or not our safety is actually being taken into account. I can't say much more than that."
Reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson tested positive for the coronavirus last week and he was replaced by Griffin at the starting quarterback position. "I pulled a hamstring today," Griffin said. "I've never pulled a hamstring in my life.
You see guys going down left and right."
Several Baltimore players agree with Griffin
"I don't know what comes with me saying this, but, of course, on Monday and Tuesday, we're wondering, 'Why were we allowed back in the building if we say everything is based off contact tracing and things like that, and that's what's told to us?'" Ravens safety Chuck Clark said.
"We've got to look at some of those things." The league wanted to proceed with the game on Tuesday but the Ravens weren't for it and there was talk that the Ravens wouldn't go out and play the game if it was scheduled for Tuesday.
"Everyone in the Ravens' organization did the best thing for player safety they possibly could and to make sure this game happened," guard Bradley Bozeman said. "The players wanted it to happen. The coaches wanted it to happen.
But we were also concerned with safety, and I think they all did a really good job handling it." The Ravens are dealing with one of the biggest COVID-19 outbreaks in professional sports and Ravens linebacker Tyus Bowser said: "When you deal with something like this ...
we had a couple concerns. But I just know, with our president Dick Cass, [general manager] Eric DeCosta and coach [John] Harbaugh, they had our best interest, and they were trying to do everything they could to get us ready for this game."