“The decision to postpone the game was made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and match day staff,” the NFL said in a written statement.
The Titans facility will remain closed and the team’s personal activities will be suspended “until further notice,” the league said. The Titans and Minnesota Vikings closed their facilities after the Titans had eight positive test results – including three players and five non-players – who returned Tuesday from Monday’s testing. The Titans had another player test positive in the results returned on Wednesday from Tuesday’s tests.
The Vikings, who played the Titans in Minneapolis on Sunday, are expected to reopen their facility on Thursday after failing to receive positive tests this week based on results returned Wednesday.
The Titans Steelers game postponements are the first changes to the NFL’s schedule during the 2020 season as it will happen during the pandemic. The league did not immediately announce when the game would be played.
A previously mentioned possibility is that the Titans Steelers game could be played in week 7. This is the current bye week for the Titans. The Steelers’ game in Baltimore in week 7 would be postponed to week 8 in this potential scenario, now Goodbye Week for the Steelers and Ravens.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said in a video press conference Wednesday that the Titans had carefully followed health protocols developed by the league and the NFL Players Association. No one should be blamed, Vrabel said, for the first outbreak on an NFL team.
“Nobody is to blame,” said Vrabel on Wednesday. “We are in a pandemic. Unfortunately things happen. ”
Vrabel said Wednesday that some of the Titans players and non-gambling members of the organization who tested positive this week had “flu-like symptoms” but “nothing out of the ordinary, I think”. He added, “We expect they will feel better shortly.”
Speaking on Wednesday of the personal toll of the team’s outbreak, he said he would have liked the league to ask “how these people are feeling”.
Vrabel said he was not among those who tested positive this week, adding, “There is a personal page that we sometimes want to stop by and make sure we are playing the games and following the protocols. But I think these people have a personal side who actually tested positive. ”
Amid the Titans-Steelers’ postponements, the NFL sent a memo to teams on Wednesday stressing the need to adhere to all health protocols, including instructing that coaches and other team staff members properly during games during games on the sideline Wear face covering must continue without interruption.
“We’re only into week 3 of the season,” said the NFL memo on Wednesday. “If we want to play a full and uninterrupted season, we must all continue our efforts to reduce the risk of the virus being transmitted. Inconsistent compliance with health and safety protocols, e.g. B. Wear face covering and comply with physical distancing requirements[,] will endanger the 2020 season. … Selective or inconsistent compliance threatens to undermine fan confidence in our health and safety protocols, as well as in the fairness of competition and the integrity of the NFL season. ”
In a memo to the teams broadcast Tuesday of the Titans’ positive testing, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote, “This is not unexpected. Like Dr. Sills and others have pointed out, there will be players and staff who will test positive during the season. ”
Allen Sills is the league’s chief medical officer.
“These results confirm the need to fully implement all of our health and safety protocols,” Goodell wrote in Tuesday’s memo.