Titans Had 3 Players, 5 Personnel Test Positive for COVID-19 After Vikings Game

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2020

Players warm up with no fans in the stadium before an NFL football game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

The NFL is facing its first serious test of the COVID-19 era after the Tennessee Titans returned eight positive cases in their latest round of testing. 

The Titans said in a statement they will "work remotely" on Tuesday "out of an abundance of caution" as they take steps to confirm the positive tests:

The NFL and NFLPA confirmed in a statement that the Titans had three players and five personnel test positive.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and tight end Tommy Hudson were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. That said, placement on that list does not guarantee those players tested positive. 

Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a memo to teams in the wake of the positive test results, noting that a situation like this was "not unexpected":

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported the Minnesota Vikings, who played the Titans on Sunday, have not had a positive test but are being shut down in order to take the "safe approach."

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Per ESPN's Dianna Russini, the NFL has not yet made a decision about whether or not this week's game between the Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers at Nissan Stadium will be played. 

Meanwhile, the Steelers are proceeding as if Sunday's game would be played.

"We have been in contact with the NFL regarding the positive COVID-19 tests with the Titans," the Steelers said in a statement. "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."

Russini added that an NFL source texted her: "We are shutting Tennessee down until Saturday."

The NFL issued an official statement about the Titans' test results and additional steps that will be taken involving them and the Vikings:  

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported that Tennessee's positive results are confirmed positives, with "no current suspicion of false positives."

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel told reporters on Monday that outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen wasn't with the team for Sunday's 31-30 win over the Vikings after being placed on the NFL's COVID-19 list.

ESPN's Kevin Seifert noted "it remains possible that some or all of these results are false positive" because every positive test is subject to two follow-up tests to determine if the initial result was correct.

The NFL has yet to have a game postponed because of positive coronavirus tests involving a single team.

Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell became the first player put on the reserve/COVID-19 list during the season Saturday, but the team was able to play its game against the Chicago Bears after contact tracing determined there were no other positive results. 

The Titans are one of six remaining undefeated teams in the NFL and lead the AFC South with a 3-0 record.