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Ravens will not host fans at M&T Bank Stadium for ‘initial part’ of 2020 season

JONAS SHAFFER
The Baltimore Sun (TNS)
M&T Bank Stadium won't be hosting fans for Baltimore Ravens games for at least the early part of the 2020 season.

The Baltimore Ravens announced Monday that fans will not be allowed at M&T Bank Stadium for “at least the initial part” of this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The team made the decision after consulting with government officials and public health experts.

“Ultimately, the health and safety of our entire community is at the forefront of every decision we make,” the team said in a statement. “We will always protect the well-being of our fans, players, coaches and staff.”

The ban on fans, while indefinite, is certain to include the team’s Sept. 13 season opener against the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens next host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 28, a prime-time game widely considered to be the best game on the NFL’s 2020 calendar.

The Washington Football Team, which plays at Fed Ex Field in Landover, announced earlier this month that no fans will be permitted at home games after discussions with officials from the state and Prince George’s County.

Over the past two months, the Ravens have trimmed their maximum stadium capacity from 14,000 fans to 7,500. The team said it is working with local and state officials to “create appropriate measures that might eventually permit a limited number of fans at home games this season.”

Jackson back at practice: Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson returned to practice Monday morning after a confusing two-day absence.

The NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player missed practice Saturday with what assistant head coach David Culley called a tired arm, and after another no-show Sunday, coach John Harbaugh said it was a “soft-tissue thing.” ESPN reported Sunday night that Jackson was dealing with a minor groin injury.

Jackson was not especially mobile during the “shells” practice (shoulder pads and helmets), but he had a solid day passing.

“He was back,” Harbaugh said after practice in a video conference call. “He looked good. He had a good practice, so we’re moving forward, like I said.”