Tennessee Titans Becomes The First NFL Team With Positive COVID-19 Cases
The NFL’s worst nightmare just became reality. One of the 32 teams has discovered multiple outbreaks of COVID-19. The Tennessee Titans have closed their team facility as of Tuesday, Sept. 29.
It has been reported that three players have tested positive for the coronavirus. There are five more positive results among team personnel. The Titans are coming off a thrilling 31-30 road win against the Minnesota Vikings. As an added precaution, the Vikings have also shut down their practice facility until further notice.
Now Tennessee Titans Become First NFL Team With Positive COVID-19 Cases, What Happens?
The fate of Tennessee’s home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers remains up in the air. Most online sportsbooks such as BetOnline have taken this game “off the board.” The Titans opened as slight 1 ½-point underdogs.
The team facilities in Nashville will remain closed until Saturday. The eight positive tests were all asymptomatic according to a team source. This information was passed on in a recent ESPN report.
Team sources from Minnesota confirmed there were no positive COVID-19 tests among players and other team personnel. This could be subject to change. League contact tracing noted there were as many as 48 close contacts with the eight positive cases. The Vikings will refrain from returning to their practice facility until all the tests have been confirmed as negative.
It was probably only a matter of time before NFL players and team personnel tested positive for the virus. The burning question is where does the league go from here. Unlike MLB games that can easily be made up, there is little room for error in the 17-week NFL schedule.
If Tennessee, and possibly even Minnesota, cannot play this Sunday, the team’s bye week offers the only make-up date.
The official statement from the NFL confirmed the two impacted team’s early actions. They will continue “to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments.” The league statement added the phrase “…with health and safety as our primary consideration.”
The Titans did play last week’s game with their defensive coach Shane Bowen. He was placed in protocol after testing positive before the team departed for Minnesota. Offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson was placed in COVID-19 protocol earlier this month. The team was hoping that Wilson could return to practice this week.
The NFL did not release any official statements concerning Sunday’s home game against Pittsburgh. It also refrained from commenting on the Vikings’ upcoming road game against the Houston Texans.
Any player that tests positive for COVID-19 can return to the practice field in 10 days as long as they remain asymptomatic. They can return in five days with back-to-back negative tests. Players with any symptoms can return 10 days after they first appear. They also need to wait 72 hours after those symptoms end.
All players testing positive for the virus must be cleared by the team’s physician. They must also undergo cardiac testing as part of that protocol. Given the fluidity of the situation, these two games are likely to remain off the online betting board at Bovada.