Steelers-Titans postponed after positive COVID-19 tests in Tennessee
Sunday’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans has been postponed to either Monday or Tuesday.
The NFL said in a statement Wednesday that a new game date and time will be announced as soon as possible, adding that the postponement will “allow additional time for further daily COVID-19 testing and to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel.”
The postponement follows positive COVID-19 tests among the Titans from four players — including starting nose tackle DaQuan Jones, long-snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson — and five team personnel members this week.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Wednesday that some of the players who tested positive were experiencing flu-like symptoms.
“I know there’s going to be a lot of questions about the game and about who’s to blame and where it started. Nobody’s to blame. We’re in a pandemic,” Vrabel said. “… This is a very unfortunate situation, but one that we’re confident that we will be able to handle safely with the football team and the players’ best interests in mind.”
Vrabel said he expects the Titans to get an opportunity to practice before they face the Steelers.
“We’ll be ready, and we will be focused,” Vrabel said. “This is the way we have to function and operate.”
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill echoed Vrabel’s approach but said they are going to rely heavily on film study, including in meetings with his wide receivers.
The Titans have closed their team facilities until Saturday, though Vrabel said the NFL gave approval for players who are in need of treatment to be in the building with athletic trainers.
The Minnesota Vikings, who played the Titans on Sunday, had no positive results in their latest round of coronavirus testing, an NFL spokesperson told ESPN’s Dan Graziano earlier Wednesday.
After closing their facilities Tuesday, the Vikings were planning to reopen Thursday. Players and coaches were set for virtual meetings Wednesday in lieu of practice for their scheduled game on Sunday at Houston.
Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said there will be “very enhanced protocols” in place when the facilities reopen, including negative tests from Wednesday and Thursday morning.
Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Wednesday that his team was told by the league to expect to play, adding that the team had its own scare with two “false positives” before playing the Steelers last Sunday.
ESPN’s Turron Davenport and Courtney Cronin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.