More Titans players test positive for coronavirus; Steelers game moved to Week 7

The next Titans are expected to play against the Buffalo Bills in Nashville on October 11th.

The NFL announced on Friday that it had postponed the Titans Steelers game for October 25th week 7 of the season. That was the originally planned Goodbye Week of the Titans. The Steelers’ Week 7 game in Baltimore has been postponed to November 1st in Week 8, the original Goodbye Week for the Steelers and Ravens.

Titan’s coach Mike Vrabel said Thursday he was confident his team could return to their facility early next week under improved health and safety protocols. However, the NFL has not specified when the Titans facility will reopen, which ties that decision to the test results.

“I think we are determined to continue to focus on doing everything we can to ensure that the players come to work every day and our staff come to work as safely as possible every day to make sure that our behavior is what we would expect as we work our way through the season, ”Vrabel said in a video press conference on Thursday.

The facilities of the Titans and Minnesota Vikings, who played the Titans in Minneapolis on Sunday, closed on Tuesday following the first positive test results for the Titans. The Titans had at least one positive test result every day this week.

The Vikings didn’t have positive tests in the results returned on Friday, according to a person familiar with the situation. They haven’t had positive tests this week and reopened their facility on Thursday under the expanded protocols the league sent to teams in a memo. According to Thursday’s memo, these protocols apply to any team experiencing or exposed to an outbreak.

“There is one simple rule to remember: pretend that everyone you come in contact with has COVID infection and take appropriate precautions,” said Allen Sills, chief medical officer the NFL, and Jeff Miller, executive vice president of communications for the league, public affairs and politics, wrote in the note.

The NFL referred to the extended protocols described in Thursday’s memo as “Post-Exposure COVID Procedures.”

The measures include: daily point-of-care tests for players, coaches and some team members in addition to their regular daily tests, including on match days; Virtual team meetings only; The mandatory wearing of masks by players and employees on the practice field (players can opt for helmets with face protection).

Players should also wear gloves on the field, according to the memo, with the only exception that a quarterback throws the hand. Meetings of teams and players outside the facility are prohibited.

Vrabel had said earlier Thursday that he had told Titans players not to venture away from the facility.

The NFL said in a memo on Friday that it had reached an agreement with the NFL Players Association to extend daily coronavirus testing of players, coaches and some team members “until further notice”, except on match days. According to the memo, the new agreement contains provisions for the daily testing of players and coaches during the teams’ bye weeks.

Players and coaches cannot leave a team’s hometown during Bye Week and must undergo daily tests. Existing penalties for a player’s unauthorized missed test, including a $ 50,000 fine for a first violation and a suspension for a game for a second game, will apply to Goodbye Week Test.

The Titans placed cornerback Kristian Fulton on their Covid-19 reserve list on Thursday, having previously added linebackers Kamalei Correa, defenseman DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and Tommy Hudson this week. This list can be used for players who test positive or for players who have been tracked to have been identified.

The Titans Steelers game postponed to week 4 of the season came after an initial postponement where the NFL said the game would be played Monday or Tuesday. This changed after further positive test results on Thursday compared to the tests carried out on Wednesday.

The inadvertent week 4 reunion for the Titans and Steelers means they are supposed to play each of the last 13 weeks of the 17 week regular season.

Steeler’s coach Mike Tomlin was asked during a video press conference Thursday about his team, which have played 13 games in 13 weeks, and said, “We don’t care.”

The NFL plans to play the Vikings vs Texans game in Houston on Sunday as scheduled.

The Titans Steelers game postponements are the first changes to the 2020 regular season schedule as the NFL is working with teams training in their own facilities and playing home games in their own stadiums during the pandemic.