Members of the Titans and Vikings gathered in the middle of the field to pray after Sunday's game. It was learned this Tuesday that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Titans. (Jim Mone)
NASHVILLE. The Tennessee Titans suspended their in-person activities until Friday after the NFL reported that three Titans players and five staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season. which is in its fourth week.
The outbreak threatens to jeopardize the Titans' game this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers and posed the first significant test during the season for the league's coronavirus protocols.
The NFL issued a statement Tuesday saying both the Titans and Minnesota Vikings suspended in-person activities on Tuesday following the Titans' test results. The Titans beat the Vikings 31-30 in Minneapolis last weekend.
“Both clubs are working closely with the NFL and NFLPA, including our infectious disease experts, to assess close contacts, conduct additional testing, and monitor developments,” the league said.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that all eight test results were all confirmed positive, making this the first outbreak since the season began on September 10. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity due to health privacy regulations.
The Vikings released a statement saying they had not received any positive test results after Sunday's game against the Titans. They also said they followed NFL protocol by closing their facilities immediately and were working to determine when they can reopen.
The Titans (3-0) are scheduled to host the Steelers (3-0) Sunday in a matchup of two of the league's seven remaining undefeated teams. With the Titans unable to practice until at least Saturday, it is unknown when that game could be played.
“All decisions will be made with health and safety as our primary consideration,” the NFL said. “We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.”
Spokesman Burt Lauten said the Steelers have been in contact with the NFL about the positive testing of the Titans.
“We have been advised to proceed with preparations for Sunday's match until otherwise informed,” Lauten said in a statement.
Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward wrote on Twitter that the guys who will play next week now end up affected.
“This is wild, but this is the world we live in now,” Heyward wrote.