BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens were fined $250,000 by the NFL for their recent COVID-19 outbreak but avoided the loss of a draft pick, a league source confirmed.
This discipline is less severe than others levied by the league this season. The New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans were each fined $350,000, and the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints were each fined $500,000 and were stripped of a draft pick (the Raiders lost a sixth-round pick and the Saints a seventh-rounder).
The fine by the NFL is in addition to the discipline imposed by the Ravens, the source added. Baltimore suspended its strength and conditioning coach Steve Saunders for not always wearing a mask and contact-tracing device in the facility.
Last month, the Ravens dealt with one of the biggest outbreaks in professional sports. Baltimore had at least one player test positive for 10 straight days and had two of its games rescheduled multiple times as a result.
The Ravens placed a total of 23 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list from Nov. 23 to Dec. 2, including reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, who tested positive on Thanksgiving. The team was informed by the NFL that “at least four unique strains” of COVID-19 were found inside its facility during the outbreak.
This led the Ravens’ game against the Steelers to get postponed three times and their game against the Cowboys to get postponed twice.
“From the outset, we have taken the virus seriously, very seriously,” Ravens president Dick Cass said in a statement earlier this month. “… 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 have had only a couple of positive tests since the outbreak. Baltimore currently has no players on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The NFL Network was the first to report the Ravens’ fine.