Steelers-Titans Game Will Not Be Played Week 4; 2 More Positive Test
By Jason Hall
October 1, 2020
The postponed game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans will not be played during Week 4 after the Titans reported two additional positive COVID-19 tests, the NFL announced Thursday.
On Wednesday, multiple reports indicated that the two teams were aiming to move the game back to next Monday or Tuesday. However, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports the game will be scheduled for later in the season after two new positive cases were reported involving a Titans player and staff member during Wednesday's round of COVID-19 testing, according to a source informed on the decision.
The Titans have reported a total of 11 positive COVID-19 cases since Tuesday, including five players and six team personnel members. The NFL confirmed its decision to postpone Sunday's game at Nissan Stadium following news of the outbreak.
"The decision to postpone the game was made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel," the NFL said in a statement. "The Titans facility will remain closed and the team will continue to have no in-person activities until further notice."
A fourth player reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 during the latest round of testing, NFL Network's Pelissero and Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Titans reported positive cases for three players and five personnel members.
Starting nose tackle DaQuan Jones, long-snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson were placed on the reserve/COVD-19 list following the report. A source told ESPN's Dan Graziano that the players who tested positive were asymptomatic as of Tuesday morning.
The Titans and Minnesota Vikings closed their facilities after the eight cases were reported on Tuesday. Tennessee said it will keep its facility closed until Saturday, citing an "abundance of caution" in a statement issued to ESPN.
The Vikings, who hosted the Titans in a 31-30 loss last Sunday, have not reported a positive test, but also announced plans to close their facilities in an "abundance of caution" on Tuesday.
The NFL reportedly found no close contacts with the Titans player who tested positive on Wednesday.
The NFL issued a statement to ESPN on Tuesday saying both the Titans and Vikings were working with the league, the NFL Players Association and medical officials "to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments ... with health and safety as our primary consideration."
Tennessee outside linebackers coach and defensive play-caller Shane Bowen missed Sunday's game due to COVID-19 protocol after getting test results back Saturday before the Titans left for Minnesota, ESPN reports.
The Titans were also without offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, who was placed into COVID-19 protocol earlier this month, but head coach Mike Vrabel said its possible Wilson could return to practice this week prior to news of the facility closing.
ESPN reports a decision has not been made regarding the status of the Titans' game on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Nashville, which is scheduled to be the team's first home game open to the public at a limited capacity.
Players who test positive and remain asymptomatic are permitted to return to their team 10 days after the test or after five days with two consecutive negative tests within a five-day period in accordance with the NFL's COVID-19 protocol. Individuals who show symptoms are allowed to return 10 days after the symptoms initially appear and 72 hours after they have ended.
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