NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans now know when they are rescheduled to play the Pittsburgh Steelers after the first NFL game postponed by a COVID-19 outbreak.
Getting back into their own building depends on the results of continued testing. The Titans' outbreak expanded by two more players testing positive Friday, pushing the team's total to 14 within the past week.
The outbreak forced the NFL to postpone Tennessee's game from Sunday to Oct. 25 in Week 7, forcing the Steelers into their unplanned bye. Pittsburgh now will play Baltimore on Nov. 1 with the Ravens' bye now pushed to Week 7 instead of Week 8, which had been the bye for both teams.
Officials from the NFL and the players' union also were in Nashville on Friday, meeting with the Titans and reviewing the way the team is handling the matter. The NFL and the players' union also agreed to continue daily testing, including bye weeks, for the foreseeable future in a decision shared with teams Friday.
Coach Mike Vrabel has said he's very confident that the Titans have followed the league protocols precisely and that nobody was to blame for this outbreak during a pandemic.
“We continue to follow protocol from the NFL that was set forth, and that continues to change and adapt and adjust,” Vrabel said Thursday. “Whatever the NFL tells us that we’re required to do and we’re supposed to do as positive tests come in, that’s what we’ll do.”
The NFL already had postponed the Titans' game Sunday against Pittsburgh. That came a day after the league said it hoped the teams would play Monday or Tuesday. But another positive test result Thursday led to the postponement and Friday's rescheduling.
Then the Titans added a pair of wide receivers to the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday: veteran Adam Humphries and Cameron Batson, who's on the practice squad. Each new positive test requires the team’s infectious control officer to track down everyone in contact with those people.