Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings close facilities after Titans players test positive for the coronavirus
The Tennessee Titans have closed their facilities until Saturday after three players and five team personnel members tested positive for the coronavirus, the NFL announced Tuesday.
The eight new positive tests have been confirmed after additional testing, a source told ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. Those who tested positive have been asymptomatic as of Tuesday morning, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
The Titans, citing an “abundance of caution,” issued a statement saying they halted in-person work Tuesday. The Minnesota Vikings, who played the Titans on Sunday, did the same, though the team said there were no positive tests through Tuesday morning.
“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 Titans’ statement said.
League contact tracing identified 48 close contacts with the eight members of the Titans who tested positive, sources told Graziano. Contingency and rescheduling plans are being discussed, sources told ESPN.
The NFL issued a statement saying both the Titans and Vikings are working with the league and the NFLPA and medical officials “to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments … with health and safety as our primary consideration.”
The Titans were without outside linebackers coach and defensive playcaller Shane Bowen for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings because of the COVID-19 protocol. Bowen was placed in protocol after getting test results back Saturday before the team left for Minnesota.
The team was already without offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, who was placed into the COVID-19 protocol earlier this month. Coach Mike Vrabel had said he hoped Wilson could return to the practice field this week.
No decision has yet been made about Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Nashville, a source told ESPN. The Vikings’ next game is Sunday at the Houston Texans.
In a statement, the Steelers said: “We have been in contact with the NFL regarding the positive COVID-19 tests with the Titans. We have been informed to proceed with our game preparations for Sunday’s game until we are informed otherwise. We will provide more information when available.”
Players who test positive for COVID-19 and remain asymptomatic can return 10 days after the test or after five days with two consecutive negative tests within a five-day period. Those who show symptoms can return 10 days after the symptoms first appear and 72 hours have passed since any symptoms have ended.
All players who test positive must be cleared by the team’s physician and undergo cardiac testing.
ESPN’s Turron Davenport and Courtney Cronin contributed to this report.