Sunday's game between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers did not take place as planned due to a massive COVID-19 outbreak. The NFL shut down the team facility in Nashville, but the players reportedly broke protocol and participated in a workout. They met at a local high school, which is not allowed under league directives.
According to longtime reporter Paul Kuharsky, students at a private school, the Montgomery Bell Academy, saw a group of adult football players conducting a workout on Sept. 30. The students identified the players as members of the Titans. Another source said that quarterback Ryan Tannehill was one of the players in attendance for the workout. This workout violated a directive from the league that told the franchise there would be no "in-person meetings, workouts, or activities at the facility or elsewhere."
The league initially shut down the Titans' facility on Sept. 29, setting the stage for the ultimate postponement of the game against the Steelers. Officials also flew to Nashville to investigate whether the team had broken protocols. Part of the process involved forcing the team to turn over multiple videotapes of team activities to determine where the outbreak began.
At the time, the list of players that tested positive included defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, linebacker Kamalei Correa, cornerback Kristian Fulton, wide receiver Adam Humphries, defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, long-snapper Beau Brinkley, wide receiver Cameron Batson, tight end Tommy Hudson, fullback Khari Blasingame and cornerback Greg Mabin. Now some fans are expressing concern about Tannehill and other vital figures missing upcoming games.
The Titans had plans of reopening the team facility on Wednesday. There had been no positive tests on Monday and Tuesday, sparking optimism among some fans. However, two more players tested positive and created doubt about Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills. Now many fans have expressed the opinion that another game will not happen.
With the latest news of the reported workout, there is a possibility that the Titans will face NFL fines. The league has docked several teams and coaches for the improper wearing of masks during games. Repeated violations could also bring about the loss of draft picks in upcoming seasons.
The NFL is using the violations as examples of what not to do during conference calls with head coaches and general managers across the league. NFL reporter Albert Breer provided the example of a presentation featuring photos of the Titans players not wearing masks at the team facility. Additionally, the league also used images from a charity dinner attended by several members of the Las Vegas Raiders.