Titans, Vikings Shut Down Activities In NFL's First Covid Outbreak
The Titans and the Vikings have both shuttered in-person team activities today after eight positive COVID-19 tests within the Titans organization, the first major challenge of the NFL’s contact-tracing and pandemic mitigation procedures during the season. It is unclear whether this jeopardizes Sunday's games -- the Titans are scheduled to host the Steelers, while the Vikings are slated to host the Texans. Three players and five team personnel were confirmed to have tested positive in Tennessee, sources said. The Vikings, who played the Titans two days ago in Minneapolis, have no positive tests to date. The Titans promised more information tomorrow. “Both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the NFLPA, including our infectious disease experts, to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments,” the NFL and NFLPA said in a statement. “All decisions will be made with health and safety as our primary consideration. We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.” By design, the league has not established precise procedures for handling games jeopardized by a COVID outbreak. The Titans and Vikings both have a bye in Week 7, while the Steelers and Texans share a bye in Week 8, so rescheduling would require other shifts in the calendar.
TEAM STATEMENTS: The Titans’ full statement reads, “Out of the abundance of caution, the organization has decided to work remotely today as we follow NFL protocols related to the Covid-19 virus. Several tests have come back positive and are working through the process of confirming them. We will have more information tomorrow.” A statement from the Vikings reads, "Today, the NFL notified us that members of the Tennessee Titans organization have tested positive for COVID-19. As of this morning, we have not received any positive results from Vikings testings following Sunday’s game. Per the NFL protocol, we will suspend in-person club activities and close TCO Performance Center immediately. We will work closely with the NFL and NFLPA to monitor the situation, perform additional testing and determine when the facility can reopen. We will provide further updates regarding this week’s football schedule when appropriate.”