UPDATE: Titans have NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak, with 8 positives

The Tennessee Titans suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL says three Titans players and five other personnel tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4.

The outbreak threatened to jeopardize the Titans’ game this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The NFL issued a statement Tuesday saying both the Titans and Minnesota Vikings suspended in-person activities Tuesday following the test results. The Titans beat the Vikings 31-30 in Minneapolis last weekend.

“Both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the NFLPA, including our infectious disease experts, to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments,” the NFL said.

A person familiar with situation told The Associated Press the eight test results were all confirmed positives, making this the first outbreak since the season began. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of health privacy regulations.

The Vikings released a statement saying they had not received any positive results from their testing after Sunday’s game against the Titans. They also said they followed NFL protocol by closing their facility immediately and were working to determine when they can reopen.

The Titans (3-0) are scheduled to host the Steelers (3-0) on Sunday in a matchup of two of the league’s seven remaining undefeated teams. With the Titans not able to practice until Saturday at the earliest, when that game might be played is unknown.

“All decisions will be made with health and safety as our primary consideration,” the NFL said. “We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.”

Spokesman Burt Lauten said the Steelers have been in contact with the NFL about the Titans’ positive tests.

“We have been informed to proceed with our game preparations for Sunday’s game until we are informed otherwise,” Lauten said in a statement.

Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward wrote on Twitter that the guys playing the next week now wind up affected.

“This is wild but this is the world we live in now,” Heyward wrote.

The Titans initially announced Tuesday morning that they would be working remotely “out of an abundance of caution” after several test results came back positive. They beat the Vikings in Minneapolis without outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen, who did not travel with the Titans following a test result Saturday.

Coach Mike Vrabel said Monday that Bowen was not with the team. Rookie offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson, their top draft pick out of Georgia, also has been on the reserve/COVID-19 list for the Titans since Sept. 6.

The Indianapolis Colts are scheduled to play the Titans twice this season, on Nov. 12 and Nov. 29.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

3 thoughts on “UPDATE: Titans have NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak, with 8 positives

  1. If they cancel, how is the NFL going to deal with make-up dates? Looks like the Bye weeks are scattered throughout the season as usual. Maybe they should have reserved the bye week for week 15 or 16 to see if they could schedule all the make-up games then. But what if a team misses two games due to C-19? Maybe if they aren’t mathematically able to get in the playoffs you skip it? But they expanded to 14 teams now instead of 12 teams

    1. And if they don’t cancel Sunday’s game how can Titans possibly compete with the Steelers when Steelers have had a week to game plan, review film, practice, work with trainers and therapists to heal, and Titans can’t set foot in their facilities until Saturday?

    2. Excellent point, Stephen P.! Steelers are only giving 2.5-3 points. Maybe you should give the points and bet on them.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets in {{ count_down }} days.