Baltimore Ravens had at least four different strains of Covid-19 virus in their facility during a major outbreak involving 23 players, team president Dick Cass said Saturday.
The Ravens suffered one of the biggest outbreaks of the deadly virus among sports teams, one that delayed their game at Pittsburgh Steelers for a week until and has pushed back last week's game against Dallas Cowboys to Tuesday.
"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," Cass said in a statement.
"Based on information provided by the NFL, we have learned that we had at least four unique strains of Covid-19 in our facility.
"Three of the four were stopped and not spread within our organization. Unfortunately, the fourth was a highly contagious strain and spread throughout our organization."
At least one Ravens player tested positive for Covid-19 for 10 days in a row.
ESPN, citing unnamed sources, said a strength and conditioning coach was suspended for not always wearing a facemask or contact tracing device while in the team facility.
"We cannot undo what has occurred," Cass said. "But, we can do our best to learn from what has happened and be vigilant moving forward to ensure that it does not happen again.
"As the recent experience has shown us, this virus does not need a large opening to spread within an organization and 99% compliance is not a passing grade when dealing with this virus."
At 6-5, the Ravens sit one game behind Miami and Indianapolis for the last playoff spots in the American Conference with five games to play.
The Ravens have 10 players remaining on their Covid-19 reserve list, including star quarterback Lamar Jackson. Third-string signal caller Trace McSorley was pressed into duty in the loss at Pittsburgh.
"To our community, our neighbors, our fans and families, we say: Please learn from what happened here," Cass said. "This virus is serious. Very serious. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Let's beat this virus together."