Tennessee Titans stop in-person team activities amid ‘several’ positive COVID-19 tests

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In what could be the NFL’s first significant in-season test of its coronavirus protocols, the Tennessee Titans announced Tuesday they would not be holding in-person activities after the team had eight total positive COVID-19 tests — three from players, five from staff —in the aftermath of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

“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,” the team said in a statement. “Several tests have come back positive and [we] are working through the process of confirming them. We will have more information tomorrow.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement the positive tests came back Tuesday morning. The Vikings also are suspending team activities as both clubs follow the league’s protocols on COVID-19.

“Both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the [NFL Players Association], including our infectious disease experts, to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments,” Goodell said. “All decisions will be made with health and safety as our primary consideration. We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.”

The Vikings said in a statement that the team has not returned any positive COVID-19 tests since Sunday’s game.

The Titans and Vikings have both shut down their facilities for cleaning.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Monday that outside linebackers coach and defensive playcaller Shane Bowen did not travel with the team for Sunday’s game due to the league’s COVID-19 protocol. Offensive tackle and first-round pick Isaiah Wilson also remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

From Sept. 13-19, the NFL reported zero positive confirmed tests for COVID-19 among players. The league has not yet released figures for any more recent dates.

The Titans are scheduled to play at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, which was set to mark the first time this season the team would welcome fans to a game. Nissan Stadium was set to allow up to 10% of capacity — roughly 6,900 fans — for the contests, Nashville Mayor John Cooper and team officials announced in September. It is unclear whether the tests will alter the organization’s plans.

The Steelers said in a statement that the NFL informed them to proceed with game preparations until notified otherwise.

The Vikings, meanwhile, are scheduled to play on the road Sunday against the Houston Texans.

The Tennessean, part of the NewsyBag Network, contributed to this report.


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