**FILE** FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
**FILE** FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Washington Football Team and Baltimore Ravens will play at home Sunday without allowing fans to attend, a decision both organizations made based on the surging number of coronavirus cases in Maryland and the D.C. metropolitan area.

Washington, which will host the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday at FedEx Feld in Landover, Md., had just begun allowing spectators back inside the stadium amid the pandemic, with about 3,000 attending its previous home game against the New York Giants on Nov. 8 — the first game at FedEx this season with fans in the stands.

“The Washington Football Team has been continuously monitoring the evolving health situation in the DMV region,” the team said in a statement Monday. “After careful consideration and working in close coordination with health officials in Prince George’s County, we have decided that this Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals will be played without fans in attendance. We take the responsibility of protecting our staff, players, fans and the community seriously and feel this is the right decision at this time.”

Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens also announced Monday it will not have fans at its home game against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Stadium this weekend.

“In giving the matter careful consideration, and with the rise of Maryland’s COVID-19 infection rate and increased hospitalizations, the Ravens believe this decision is the correct one in helping protect the well-being and safety of our community,” the team said.

The Ravens’ most recent home game, against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 1, was its first allowing fan attendance outside of family members of team players, coaches and staffers. About 4,300 fans attended that game.

As of Tuesday, Maryland has reported roughly 170,000 coronavirus cases and 4,200 related deaths, with Prince George’s County and Baltimore City among the state’s top five jurisdictions in both categories, according to health department statistics.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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