Looks like you may have a bummer. Completely covered in dirt? Never ever had that. The moist paper towel is fine and I can understand no holes. Water evaporates through holes and you don't want that in transit.
I suggest that you ignore the dirt, plant
them up and, if you don't have a propagator, use the old plastic bag treatment. Bare roots just means that they are removed from their pot and most soil removed to save postage. (Understandable with current rates.) Not that they should be covered in mud. Still, I think that if they have been kept moist in transit then you should be OK as long as you don't panic. If you have grow lights then keep them under lights after planting, for a couple of days, but remember, if they are ferns, that they don't like too much sunshine so it is only a couple of days. You might try misting them with a water spray as well, if nothing else it may wash some mud off.