The sports world continues to be challenged by COVID-19 as numerous pro and college sports events have been postponed or cancelled this Thanksgiving weekend due to the pandemic.
In the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game has been postponed a second time and will now be played on Tuesday night as more Ravens players have tested positive for the virus. At least 18 Ravens players have now tested positive for the virus, including Ravens quarterback and last year’s league MVP Lamar Jackson, according to ESPN.com.
The game was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving night Nov. 26, then earlier this week was moved to Nov. 29 before settling in on Dec. 1. The Ravens’ Dec. 3 Thursday Night Football game against the Dallas Cowboys has also been rescheduled and will take place on Dec. 7, with Fox airing the game.
The Ravens-Steelers game is the second NFL game to be played on a Tuesday night this season, following the Oct. 13 Buffalo Bills-Tennessee Titans game, which was moved from its original Sunday, Oct. 11 date due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the Tennessee franchise.
On the college football front, at least 12 games have been cancelled this weekend due to COVID-19, including several games featuring ranked teams. Fourth-ranked Ohio State’s game with Illinois was postponed due to positive COVID-19 test results within the Buckeyes’ program. Other postponed or cancelled games include seventh-ranked Cincinnati against Temple, 11th-ranked Oklahoma and West Virginia and 16th-ranked Wisconsin against Minnesota -- marking the first time those Big Ten teams haven’t played each other in a season since 1906.
College basketball began its 2020-21 season this past week as more than 40 of the 357 Division I programs have paused or have canceled their season altogether due to COVID-19 concerns, including top-ranked schools Baylor and Duke, according to USAToday.com.
Despite the cancellations, there’s still a lot of live sports action on television this weekend. Third-ranked Clemson will return to the college football field Saturday against Pittsburgh (ESPN), leading a number of rivalry week games that include top-ranked Alabama against 22nd-ranked Auburn (CBS) and fifth-ranked Texas A&M against LSU (ESPN).
On the pro front, CBS’ Kansas City-Tampa Bay game highlights the league's national afternoon games, while NBC’s Sunday Night Football telecast pits Chicago against Green Bay in an NFC North division matchup.
On the pay-per-view front, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson returns to the ring in an exhibition boxing match against Roy Jones Jr. The fight card can be purchased online at $49.99 through FITE.tv and TysonOnTriller.com as well as through traditional cable distributors via In Demand.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.