Two more members of the Tennessee Titans, one player and one staff member, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That brings the total number of positive Titans tests to 18. The Titans have had new positives every day for the past six days.
Schefter also reported that the NFL and NFL Players Association are investigating whether the Titans violated the NFL and NFLPA’s joint COVID-19 protocols, which could have possibly led to their current outbreak.
Titans under investigation
According to Schefter, NFL and NFLPA officials arrived in Tennessee on Friday to conduct an investigation and asked the Titans to turn over multiple videos of team activities so they can determine the root of the outbreak. One source told ESPN that the NFL and NFLPA don’t believe the protocols are a failure, and that the outbreak is a result of the Titans not following the protocols.
Not surprisingly, the Titans don’t share that opinion. Schefter reported that the team believes it has followed the rules and complied with protocols such as mask wearing. According to Schefter, the Titans believe that they’ve done a better job of following the protocols than other NFL teams.
An NFL source told ESPN that they believe the outbreak began with the coaches and spread when some individuals failed to report symptoms and wear masks, which is required. It’s also possible that at least one coach could have failed to report that he’d been around someone who tested positive for COVID-19, which is also a violation of the protocols.
If the Titans are found to have not properly followed the COVID-19 protocols, they could be disciplined with fines and even the loss of draft picks.
Titans’ Week 5 game in jeopardy
The Titans’ outbreak this past week led to the postponement of their Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sunday marked the sixth straight day of positive tests, so it’s possible that another Titans game could be affected.
Schefter reported that the Titans’ Week 5 matchup against the Buffalo Bills, which is to be played on Oct. 11, is in jeopardy of being postponed. The Titans need several days with zero positive tests before they can reopen their facility, and even with a full week before facing Buffalo they’re already cutting it close.
As of now, the earliest they can reopen their facility is Wednesday — and that’s only if Sunday’s positive tests are the last ones. If more Titans players or staff test positive on Monday or Tuesday, they wouldn’t be able to reopen their facility until Thursday or Friday, making it extremely difficult to pull off a Sunday game with appropriate prep time.
The Titans-Steelers game that was supposed to be played during Week 4 has been rescheduled for Oct. 25.
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