Report: Titans, Patriots Cleared to Return to Facilities After COVID-19 Outbreak

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2020

NFL logo on goal post pad during an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Images/Rick Osentoski)
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

Neither the New England Patriots nor Tennessee Titans recorded any positive COVID-19 tests Saturday morning, clearing the way for both NFL teams to reopen their facilities ahead of their Week 5 games.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the news.

It's the second straight day of negative tests across the board for both teams.

The Titans dealt with the NFL's first widespread coronavirus outbreak, amassing 23 positive tests between Sept. 24 and Thursday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported the league is investigating whether Tennessee failed to follow its COVID-19 protocols and noted punishment is "not a matter of if, but when, and how severe."

The Titans' Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was postponed until Week 7, and this week's contest against the Buffalo Bills has been delayed until Tuesday. They don't have another bye, so trying to get the game in without further issue is key to avoiding a more complex schedule problem.

Meanwhile, the Patriots' number of guys on the reserve/COVID-19 list has been more limited but included two critical players: quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Newton remained asymptomatic since his positive test, which caused him to miss the team's Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and Gilmore was "feeling good" following his positive test Tuesday, according to Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald.

Neither player has been ruled out of Monday's game against the Denver Broncos, which was delayed one day while the Pats' team facilities remained closed.

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NFL guidelines state a player "could be cleared to return in five days since his first positive test if he continues not to exhibit any symptoms, has two negative tests 24 hours apart within those five days, and is cleared by the team doctor," per ESPN.

No other Week 5 games have been altered by COVID-19 issues.