Good news came Friday for the Ravens and their fans.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced he would allow stadiums in the state to open to fans at 10 percent capacity, paving the way for the Ravens to welcome back fans. If Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young also approves, around 7,000 fans would be allowed to attend the Ravens' next home game, Nov. 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"We received Governor Hogan's order today updating limits for outdoor sporting venues, which would allow up to 10% of total capacity," the Ravens said in a statement Friday. "We have contacted Mayor Young's office to discuss Governor Hogan's order."
The Ravens have five remaining homes games against the Steelers, Tennessee Titans (Nov. 22), Dallas Cowboys (Dec. 3), Jacksonville Jaguars (Dec. 20) and New York Giants (Dec. 27). During the past two home games, the Ravens have only allowed 250 immediate family members of players, coaches and Ravens staff to attend games.
When Baltimore faces the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, around 7,500 fans will be in attendance. Ravens Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale said Thursday he missed the atmosphere of having fans, whether home or away.
"Honestly, we're going to be happy to play in front of some fans (in Philadelphia) too, because I thought the Cincinnati game was the first time that we really, really got used to not playing in front of fans and having fun doing it," Martindale said.
"We miss our fans. We have the best fans in the league here in Baltimore. They're a part of the defense, as I've said many times the last two years. They're just as big of a part of the defense as the players that are playing in it."
Head Coach John Harbaugh echoed Martindale's sentiments on Monday.
"I just want to say, we miss our fans," Harbaugh said. "We have a great fanbase; that stadium would've been rocking and rolling yesterday, and they would've been fired up for what they saw. I think they would've been really into the game.
"And not just that, but the interactions with the fans, driving in and seeing them tailgating, the cheering, the high-fives, the smiling faces, the not-so smiling faces sometimes, all the different things that kind of go into that. We have great fans, even on the road. We miss you. We hear you. We know you're out there. We know you're cheering, and we really appreciate you."
In a statement released Friday, Gov. Hogan said the recent coronavirus health numbers had remained stable enough to warrant the decision to open doors to fans with safety protocols in place, such as mandatory facemasks and no tailgating.
"With our key health metrics low and stable, we are taking steps to allow more spectators, including fans of the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Football Team, to safely attend games in the stands," Gov. Hogan said. "It remains important to continue following all of the mitigation measures and public health protocols that keep us safe, including wearing masks and practicing physical distancing."