This season of NFL football has been unlike anything that we have ever seen before. As a result of the challenges presented by COVID-19, another game was scheduled to take place on a Tuesday night. The Baltimore Ravens were set to wrap up Week 12 with a road trip to face their division rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday night, but this particular game seems like it is going to be moved for the third time.
The game in question was originally supposed to take place immediately following the Dallas Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day and is currently on its third scheduled day as the original rescheduling had the game set to take place on Sunday afternoon.
As a result of Baltimore’s Week 12 game getting shuffled around, their Week 13 game needed adjusting. That particular game is a home contest against the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas was originally set to visit Baltimore this Thursday night, but the game will instead happen next Monday preceding Monday Night Football.
The Baltimore Ravens will play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday, the Cowboys game remains unaffected
Monday brought with it continued concern that the Ravens would not be able to play against the Steelers. There were a number of reports from NFL insiders that noted the game seemed to be somewhat in doubt and one report even suggested that certain Ravens players were considering deciding not to play it.
Following up on this, I’ve heard that there’s a group of Ravens unhappy about having to play Tuesday, given how everything’s been handled.
One source told me the NFL had offered Wednesday as a compromise, but that some players wanted Thursday. No consensus was reached. https://t.co/HiHqABwJ0n
— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) November 30, 2020
It is hard to keep track of everything happening all at once, but remember that this game between Pittsburgh and Baltimore was originally supposed to take place last Thursday night. There have been some people throughout the season to have suggested instituting a Week 18 for the league to make up games that are complicated by this year’s challenges, but there is no indication that the NFL is going to do something like that.
Say that the NFL did hypothetically decide to just yank Ravens/Steelers until a later date (again, this is hypothetical). This would free up this Thursday night for the Ravens to host the Cowboys like they were originally scheduled to, but according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that is not going to happen. Considering that the Cowboys haven’t been preparing for a game on Thursday it makes sense not to suddenly spring that on them just because it could now logistically happen.
As for the #Ravens–#Cowboys game — originally scheduled for Thursday night, then tentatively pushed back to next Monday — my understanding is it’s unlikely the NFL would move it back up to Thursday. It’d really throw a wrench at Dallas, which is a bystander in all this.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 30, 2020
To be clear here, the priority in all of this is the health and wellness of everyone involved. Looking at the football of this all though, the Cowboys are already being negatively impacted if you want to look at it a certain way.
Consider that Dallas was going to have exactly a week after their Thanksgiving Day game to get ready for Baltimore. After the game against the Ravens the Cowboys were set to have the “mini bye” that accompanies playing on Thursday nights before their Week 14 matchup on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Even if the Cowboys wind up playing on Monday night they will now actually be operating on a short week before they travel to take on Cincinnati. As their lone Monday Night Football game is well in the rearview mirror they were theoretically done with this process this year, but due to the challenges of the 2020 season have to go through it again. Obviously a lot has happened to a lot of teams this season.
On Monday afternoon it was reported that the Ravens and Steelers will actually now play on Wednesday, six days after the game was originally supposed to happen. For what it’s worth this Sunday’s matchup between the Washington Football Team and the Pittsburgh Steelers will also reportedly be pushed to next Monday.
Ravens-Steelers postponed to Wednesday, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 30, 2020
Steelers-Ravens being moved to Wednesday, time to be determined. Also, Steelers-Washington game being moved to Monday, per sources.
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) November 30, 2020
To our earlier point, any further delay to the Cowboys/Ravens game would further hinder the Cowboys’ ability to rest for their following matchup against the Bengals, and to be fair this is a team that is still very much alive in the divisional race. For now it does seem like the Cowboys will have an inordinately long amount of time between games when they face Baltimore while the Ravens will have very little.
Of course what is fair in the context of the game of football is out the window this season with so many things being re-shuffled and restructured. Again the priority is that everyone stays healthy, but as far as the next Dallas Cowboys game goes, there is a lot to sort out.