The NFL has been hit hard with COVID-19 issues this week, mirroring the rising cases in the country. The Washington Football Team's next opponent is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have had their game against the Baltimore Ravens postponed twice. The game will now be played Tuesday night(barring any other new positives), giving the Steelers a short week.
Washington's Week 14 game is against the San Francisco 49ers who will be playing their home games at the Arizona Cardinals stadium due to local restrictions. The Denver Broncos had all of their QBs ruled out this week due to COVID-19 protocol violations, but Ron Rivera hasn't gone into backup QB quarantine mode yet. He is reinforcing the protocols for practice squad players like QB Steven Montez and K/P Kaare Vedvik.
The team has to be adaptable as it deals with changes in the roster, especially with the uncertainty this year brings. Rivera has thought about the possibility that the NFL can't finish the season due to COVID-19, but hopes they will find a way to work through it even if it means pausing for a week or two.
Steelers COVID-19 issues:
Ron Rivera speaking to the media now and recognizes his team is in a "touch and go" situation facing the Steelers next week due to the Covid outbreak in Baltimore and delayed games— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) November 30, 2020
Ron Rivera is Zooming us from his home this morning because of NFL protocols. Asked about Chase Young's double teams, he says teams are doing that because of the way Young started the season.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) November 30, 2020
When asked about why Chase Young is seeing double and triple teams, Rivera believes a lot of that has to do with his initial couple of weeks. And since the defense has had some success in the past couple of weeks, offenses try to highlight elite pass rushers.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) November 30, 2020
Asked Ron Rivera why Chase Young is receiving the equal or more attention than some of the best pass rushers in the NFL, attributed it to how he announced himself to the league and his success early.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) November 30, 2020
Teams were put on notice and have game planned accordingly for him. https://t.co/x5gF9zzI1M
Ron Rivera says specific people have to stay away from certain people, and mentions Steven Montez and Kaare Vedvik (K/P) on practice squad are extra spaced and restricted. #WashingtonFootball— Chris Russell AKA The Rooster (@Russellmania621) November 30, 2020
When talking to his players about following safe COVID protocols, Rivera said the team is reinforcing those practices, especially now.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) November 30, 2020
Washington has not gone the "quarantine QB" route, but Ron Rivera said that QB Steven Montez, as well as other practice squad players, have made sure to keep their social distance during practices and meetings.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) November 30, 2020
Ron Rivera says "we cant make a big deal if something changes." Wants his team to be adaptable. "Focus and handle the situation"— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) November 30, 2020
Next 3 games:
Rivera said the next three games (PIT, SF and SEA) will be a measuring stick for Washington. They represent some of the best teams in the league, and it will be a challenge for players and coaches alike.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) November 30, 2020
Finishing the season:
Ron Rivera admits that he's thought about the NFL being unable to finish the season, but he expects his team and the league to push through and get everything done. Follow the protocols.— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) November 30, 2020
Ron Rivera said he has thought about the possibility the NFL might not be able to finish the season but he thinks the league is committed to trying to close out the season and have a postseason and Super Bowl. He said it would be a "huge victory" for the league and its fans.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) November 30, 2020
What's interesting vs what's important:
Rivera has emphasized his team knowing the difference between what's interesting and what's important. That's also true as the division race heats up. If you worry about what you can control, then you give yourself a chance.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) November 30, 2020
Ron Rivera said regarding the trick plays there's no stat that tells you when there's a perfect time to unleash them. You have to feel out the game. There's a gut feeling that says, we need the momentum. Says that's probably what Mike McCarthy was thinking regarding his plays.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) November 30, 2020
Washington practiced the Annexation of PR/Bummerooski just twice last week, Ron Rivera tells us. The legend of the coolest six-yard run ever continues to grow— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) November 30, 2020
Rivera said Washington only practiced the "bumblerooski" -- the play where Alex Smith handed the ball to J.D. McKissic through his legs -- twice last week. Pretty wild considering it was executed so well.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) November 30, 2020
Ron Rivera explained that he's not a fan of the Zoom concept. He prefers in person. Harder to have humor, see people's reactions, etc.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) November 30, 2020
They're in the super protocol portion of it right now, and that means no being in the building today or Tuesday during that phase/
First woman to play in a Power 5 football game:
Here's @RiverboatRonHC talking about a historic weekend for women in football:— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) November 30, 2020
- @VandyFootball's Sarah Fuller becomes first woman to play in Power 5 college football game
- @Browns' Callie Brownson becomes first woman to coach a position group during an NFL regular season game pic.twitter.com/gCrZOKV1Ho
Ron Rivera thinks it's really cool that Sarah Fuller was the first women to participate in a Power 5 football game, when she played for Vanderbilt.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) November 30, 2020
"It's just another step in the right direction. ... It's good for our business."
Ron Rivera on Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller making history: "It's just another step in the right direction. ... It's good for us. It's good for the world. And it's good for our business."— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) November 30, 2020
There were some historic moments in football -- Sarah Fuller kicking for Vanderbilt and Callie Brownson being the NFL's first female to coach a position group in a game -- and Rivera said its an example of barriers coming down. They were great moments for the sport, he said.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) November 30, 2020
Ron Rivera on @SarahFuller_27 & @CalBrown17: "I think what it's signifying is that a lot of these barriers are being broken down. ...Women in pro sports that have been predominantly male, those doors are starting to get kicked down. It's just another step in the right direction."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) November 30, 2020
Ron Rivera says 'consistency' is the key for the #Steelers ...."Consistency up top" - Ownership, GM, Head Coach and "they have a culture"— Chris Russell AKA The Rooster (@Russellmania621) November 30, 2020
"The formula obviously for them is working." #WashingtonFootball @steelers @WSHFootballSI
Ron Rivera says that the team did go after some big names in free agency, but in terms of who they got, they're pleased with the prove-it deals they signed with players on the cusp.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) November 30, 2020
Names J.D. McKissic, Logan Thomas, Kevin Pierre-Louis. They looked for position flex, too.