According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the NFL is fining the Ravens $250,000 for their late November COVID-19 outbreak, but they are not being stripped of a draft pick. The Ravens are the fifth team to be disciplined for protocol violations and team outbreaks, and it’s the smallest punishment. The New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans were fined $350,000, while the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints were fined $500,000 and stripped of a draft pick.
The Ravens’ outbreak was significant. At least four separate strains of COVID-19 were found in the team facility, which resulted in 23 players — including QB Lamar Jackson — being placed on the COVID-19 list over a period of 10 days. The Ravens’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers had to be postponed three different times, and their game against the Dallas Cowboys was postponed twice.
It’s unclear why the Ravens are being given a lesser punishment than the other teams. Given the number of players affected by the Ravens’ outbreak and how many times games had to be rescheduled, you’d imagine it would be at least as much as the Pats and Titans, and perhaps even to the level of the Raiders and Saints.
The NFL could have punished the Ravens less because they already punished their own staff for the outbreak. The Ravens reportedly suspended strength coach Steve Saunders for failing to report his symptoms and not always wearing a mask and his contact tracing device, all violations of the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
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