NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak has expanded to 14 within the past week with two more Tennessee Titans testing positive, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Officials from the NFL and its players’ union were in Nashville on Friday, meeting with the Titans and reviewing the way the team is handling the matter.
The NFL already had postponed the Titans’ game Sunday against Pittsburgh. That came a day after the league said it hoped the teams would play Monday or Tuesday. But another positive test result Thursday led to the postponement.
Then two additional positive test results came in Friday, the person told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because neither the NFL nor the Titans had announced the latest results.
The Minnesota Vikings (0-3) again had no positive test results Friday, leaving them on target to visit Houston (0-3) on Sunday as scheduled after losing 31-30 to the Titans last week. The Viking returned to work inside their facility on Thursday.
The Titans instead find themselves on an unexpected bye, hoping to return to work inside their own building Monday or Tuesday. But further testing could delay that return, and more positives could jeopardize the Titans’ next scheduled game Oct. 11 against the Buffalo Bills in Nashville.
Tennessee’s outbreak started with a defensive back on the practice squad added to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sept. 24. Then outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen’s test result came back positive on Saturday, preventing him from traveling with Tennessee to Minnesota.
On Tuesday, the Titans placed three players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including defensive captain and lineman DaQuan Jones and long snapper Beau Brinkley, with five other team personnel testing positive. Outside linebacker Kamalei Correa became the fourth player on that list Wednesday, and rookie cornerback Kristian Fulton became the fifth Thursday.
With the new cases, the Titans’ total is now 14: seven players and seven other organization members just since last Saturday. Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Thursday that he’s confident the Titans have followed the contact tracing protocol to identify anyone at risk from being close together.
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