Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback and the National Football League’s reigning Most Valuable Player, on Thursday became the highest-profile player to test positive for the coronavirus as an outbreak of cases spread to more than a dozen players on the team, according to several media outlets.
The cluster of new cases threatened to upend the team’s next game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, an A.F.C. North matchup that the league had already moved to Sunday afternoon from Thanksgiving night.
It could also create a cascade effect for the league’s schedule makers, who had already shifted more than a dozen games so far this season because of the virus and appear to have little wiggle room in the 16-game schedule for further postponements.
The N.F.L. Network reported that Jackson, 23, who the team selected in the first round of the 2018 Draft, had tested positive for the virus.
The team did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday night.
The league on Thursday night would not confirm whether Jackson had been added to the team’s Covid-19 reserve list, which already had 10 players on it as of Wednesday. Four more players were added on Thursday, ESPN reported.
The league said on Thursday night that Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Steelers in Pittsburgh would still be played.
It was not immediately clear whether Jackson had shown any symptoms of the virus, which sidelined the New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton earlier in the season.
Jackson played last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in a home loss for the Ravens, who had shut down their team facility because of the outbreak.
Baltimore’s starting running back, Mark Ingram II, was one of three players added to the team’s Covid-19/reserve list on Monday. On Wednesday, the team’s starting defensive tackle, Calais Campbell, was one of three more players added to the list.
Further complicating matters was that the Ravens are scheduled to host the Dallas Cowboys next Thursday night in Baltimore.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, complained on Twitter about the league moving the team’s Thanksgiving night game against the Ravens and said it was the second time that its schedule had been changed this season. The Steelers are undefeated.
“First the N.F.L. takes away our bye week because another team can’t get their Covid situation together, now they take away our Thanksgiving primetime game for the same reason,” Smith-Schuster said. “Smh.”