What’s next for Titans, Vikings after COVID-19 outbreak

Like MLB, the NFL eschewed a bubble. So, like MLB, an inevitable outbreak has hit the NFL.

The Tennessee Titans have closed their facility after eight team members (three players, five personnel) tested positive for COVID-19, the league announced Tuesday. A league source told ESPN that the Titans will not be allowed to re-enter their practice facility until Saturday, putting Sunday’s game against the Steelers in Nashville in jeopardy. Another source told ESPN that the league identified 48 people who had close contact with the eight people who tested positive.

Unlike MLB teams, which have the ability to make up games via doubleheaders and daily play, it is unclear how the NFL would handle a postponed game. Currently, though, the Steelers are planning on the game kicking off as scheduled.

“We have been in contact with the NFL regarding the positive COVID-19 tests with the Tennessee Titans,” the Steelers said in a statement. “We have been informed to proceed with our game preparations for Sunday’s game until we are informed otherwise.”

The Vikings, who played the Titans two days ago, have shut their facility, too, but have not had any confirmed cases. Minnesota will not return to their facility until all test results have been processed. They are scheduled to play the Texans in Houston in Week 4.

“Still waiting to find out if this impacts our ability to practice,” a Vikings source told Josina Anderson. “If so, it becomes longer meetings and film study. Lot of verbal walkthroughs. But I can’t speculate right now as to whether we’re at a competitive disadvantage or if the game should be canceled.”

NFL players who test positive for COVID-19 and remain asymptomatic are permitted to return 10 days after the initial test or after two consecutive negative tests in a five-day period. Team members with symptoms cannot return until at least 10 days after the symptoms first appeared and at least 72 hours after symptoms are no longer present.

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