Unfortunately, the NFL has its first serious coronavirus outbreak. This has caused the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers to be postponed this Sunday. Four Titans players have tested positive for COVID-19 — according to a league spokesman who reported this on Wednesday — in addition to five staff members. The Minnesota Vikings lost the game against the Titans on Sunday, but, on the bright side, have returned negative tests so far.
COVID-19 Rears Its Head In The NFL
At first, three Titans players and five personnel members were reported to have resulted positive with the virus on Tuesday morning. Then, another positive case was announced Wednesday. At least for the moment, some good news is that the rest of the Tennessee and Minnesota teams and personnel have shown negative results.
Both the Titans and Vikings have decided to call off all in-person activities this week. Their sports facilities remained closed Wednesday as way to stop any more instances of the virus.
In this case, the NFL said that the game between the Titans and Steelers would be put off to either Monday of Tuesday in order to create more time for additional testing and protect players from COVID-19.
This outbreak is proof that nobody is exempt from getting the virus, although strict precautions have been taken to avoid its spread within the NFL. COVID-19 is very contagious, but the league’s isolation procedures have been efficient since it’s the first outbreak scenario, affecting one team.
Players Placed On COVID Reserve List
The Titans announced on Tuesday evening that some players were put on the COVID-19 reserve list, among them are defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and tight end Tommy Hudson. While the team never explicitly said they were the players who had tested positive, the writing’s on the wall.
According to Commissioner Roger Goodell, all those in close contact with the infected and people involved with the team were placed in isolation and will go through some additional testing. Goodell relayed this in a letter handed to all teams on Tuesday. At this point, the NFL is working very hard to establish where and how the close contact took place.
The NFL has an agreement with the players union that requires that all employees be tested daily during the regular season. The league has to be very strict about these regulations in order to comply with the safety protocols, and Goodell asserts that the NFL never thought it would make it through the season without some instances of COVID-19 popping up.
The Steelers have been instructed to go on with game preparations until told otherwise. In spite of the pandemic and the undeniable health threats, the season must go on as normal. Playing amid the coronavirus will always be a risk.
In the meantime, the Vikings are scheduled to visit the Houston Texans this coming Sunday at 1 PM. The league states that they will provide more updates as more details become available.