Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback and reigning National Football League Most Valuable Player, was the most famous player to test positive for the coronavirus on Thursday as multiple cases broke out on more than a dozen players on the team.
The accumulation of new cases threatened the team’s next game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, an A.F.C. North Matchup, which the league had already postponed from Thanksgiving to Sunday afternoon.
It could also create a cascading effect for the league’s planners, who have already postponed more than a dozen games this season due to the virus and seem to have little room for further postponements in the 16-game schedule.
The N.F.L. Network reported that Jackson, 23, who the team picked in the first round of the 2018 draft, had tested positive for the virus.
The team didn’t respond to requests for comments on Thursday evening.
The league on Thursday night wouldn’t confirm whether Jackson was added to the team’s Covid-19 reserve list From Wednesday 10 players were already there. Four more players were added on Thursday, Reported ESPN.
The league said Thursday night that Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Steelers would still be played in Pittsburgh.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Jackson had shown any symptoms of the virus that got New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton out of the way earlier in the season.
Jackson played the Tennessee Titans last Sunday in a home defeat for the Ravens, who closed their team facilities because of the outbreak.
Baltimore’s starting gun, Mark Ingram II, was one of three players added to the team’s Covid-19 / reserve list on Monday. On Wednesday, Calais Campbell, the team’s first defender, was one of three other players added to the list.
Another complication was that the Ravens are due to host the Dallas Cowboys in Baltimore next Thursday evening.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, the broad recipient of the Pittsburgh Steelers, complained on Twitter on the league postponing the team’s Thanksgiving night game against the Ravens, saying it was the second time the schedule has been changed this season. The Steelers are undefeated.
“First the N.F.L. is taking away our bye week because another team can’t bring their Covid situation together, now they’re taking away our Thanksgiving primetime game for the same reason, ”said Smith-Schuster. “Smh.”