The NFL has a COVID-19 issue on its hands as several members of the Tennessee Titans have tested positive for the coronavirus. The team is scheduled to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, and the league has reportedly decided on the game being played. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the NFL is still looking to have the Titans and Steelers face each other in Nashville on Sunday despite the Titans closing their team facility. If the game can't be played on Sunday afternoon, it will be moved to Monday night.
This past Sunday, the Titans took on the Minnesota Vikings and came away with a win. When the Vikings learned about the Titans' positive tests, it led to them closing their facility and do more testing. The good news for the Vikings is they have no positive tests to report. They are scheduled to take on the Houston Texans on Sunday.
According to ESPN, the Titans outbreak started on Saturday when linebackers coach Shane Bowen returned a confirmed positive test. Bowen was held back from the trip to Minneapolis, but on Tuesday, it was determined that three players and eight personnel members have tested positive for COVID-19. No members of the Titans or Vikings were tested on Sunday, but Kevin Seifert of ESPN said, "All Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees from the Titans and Vikings, which includes players and coaches, were tested Monday morning."
"The protocols call for daily testing on every day except game day," Seifert noted when talking about why players weren't tested on Sunday. "Neither the league or the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has explained explicitly why, but timing is likely a substantial part of the answer. Results for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, performed on the morning of a game by nasal swab, probably wouldn't be returned in time for kickoff."
Right now, the Titans and Vikings are working virtually since their facilities are closed. The challenging part for the Titans is they can't return to their facility until Saturday at the earliest. "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 in a statement. "All decisions will be made with health and safety as our primary consideration. We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.