The Baltimore Ravens have announced that the NFL made them aware that "at least four unique strains" of the coronavirus were found inside their team facility during the recent outbreak. The Ravens were dealing with one of the biggest outbreaks in professional sports for 10 consecutive days they had positive tests within the team.
The Ravens, who were scheduled to meet the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving, played Pittsburgh this past Wednesday after three postponements. "Three of the four were stopped and not spread within our organization," Ravens president Dick Cass said in a statement, as revealed on ESPN.
"Unfortunately, the fourth was a highly-contagious strain and spread throughout our organization." "From the outset, we have taken the virus seriously, very seriously. 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."
The Ravens hope to learn and avoid a new outbreak
"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. As the recent experience has shown us, this virus does not need a large opening to spread within an organization, and 99% compliance is not a passing grade when dealing with this virus."
Reigning NFL MVP and starting Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson couldn't play against the Steelers since he was at home isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus. Robert Griffin III replaced Jackson at the starting quarterback position and after the loss to the Steelers he questioned whether the NFL actually care about player safety.
"It's not about whether or not guys want to play," Griffin III said after the game. "It's about whether or not our safety is actually being taken into account. I can't say much more than that."
Ravens safety Chuck Clark agreed with Jackson as he said after the game: "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?' We've got to look at some of those things." The Ravens are scheduled to play against the Cowboys on Tuesday.