NFL reschedules Steelers-Titans for later in season amid additional positive COVID-19 cases


NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – AUGUST 25: James Washington #13 of the Pittsburgh Steelers struts into the end zone past LeShaun Sims #36 of the Tennessee Titans during the second half of a preseason game at Nissan Stadium on August 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) — There will be no football for the Tennessee Titans this week.

In the wake of more positive COVID-19 test results, the NFL postponed the scheduled game in Nashville between the Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers.

“The Pittsburgh-Tennessee game scheduled for Week 4 will be rescheduled to later this season after one additional Titans player and one personnel member tested positive for COVID-19 today. An announcement of the new game date will be made shortly,” the NFL said in a statement Thursday morning. “The decision to postpone the game was made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel. The Titans facility will remain closed and the team will continue to have no in-person activities until further notice.”

Previously postponed with consideration to playing the game Monday, the Titans (3-0) and Steelers (3-0) instead have an open week.

Four players and five staff members had positive tests as of Wednesday afternoon.

Their facility has been closed all week since the Titans returned from playing the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis on Sunday.

Cases reportedly began on Friday with outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen.

Three Titans players — defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson — were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday as the NFL shut down the team facility. A fourth player — linebacker Kamalei Correa — returned a positive test Wednesday and was officially added to the COVID list.

The Titans also reported five positive tests among team personnel, including Bowen, who did not make the trip to Minnesota.

The Steelers will have a bye week and play the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5. The Titans are scheduled to host the Buffalo Bills in Week 5.

No ruling has been made on the Vikings making the trip to Houston to play the Texans as scheduled this Sunday. The Vikings on Thursday reported “zero positive results from all PCR and POC tests conducted on players, coaches and football operations staff,” resulting in the reopening of the team’s practice facility.

“As I know right now, yes, we’re scheduled to get on that plane Saturday and play,” general manager Rick Spielman told ESPN on Thursday. “If that changes, I don’t know. But as of today, we are scheduled as normal.”

Vikings athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said no one will be admitted to the facility without first receiving a negative test result. He said enhanced protocols will be in place, including temperature checks, wearing masks and social distancing.

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