Following Tuesday’s news of multiple positive COVID-19 tests on the Tennessee Titans, there is a little good news. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, just one additional Titans player tested positive after Tuesday’s round of testing, and tests for other Titans and Minnesota Vikings (who played the Titans on Sunday) came back negative.
One more #Titans player learned early this morning he tested positive in Tuesday’s round of COVID-19 testing, sources tell me and @MikeGarafolo. All of Tuesday’s other tests in Tennessee -- and all tests for the #Vikings -- came back negative this morning.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 30, 2020
Additionally, the Week 4 game between the Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers has been postponed due to the recent positive tests.
The Titans announced Tuesday that they had eight positive COVID-19 tests after routine testing was done on Monday. Three players and five personnel tested positive, which resulted in the closure of the Titans facility and the suspension of all in person activities.
The Vikings also closed their facility and suspended in-person activities. While Pelissero reported that no Vikings players or personnel have tested positive, it’s still possible they could have been infected on Sunday and wouldn’t be testing positive yet.
What does this latest Titans update mean?
Wednesday’s report of just one additional positive test for the Titans is a ray of good news for them. It means that a limited number of people were infected at the same time or just after those who already tested positive.
However, there are still several significant testing hurdles that both the Titans and Vikings need to clear before either team can breathe a sigh of relief.
For the Titans, it’s Wednesday’s tests that are most important. Due to COVID-19’s incubation period of three to seven days, players that were infected on Saturday or Sunday likely won’t start testing positive until Wednesday. Results of Wednesday’s tests will come back 12 to 24 hours after the tests were done, as Yahoo Sports’ Henry Bushnell reported on Tuesday, so we might not know the true extent of the Titans’ outbreak until Thursday.
For the Vikings, that entire timeline shifts even later. The earliest their players could have been infected was on Sunday, which means positives likely won’t start showing up until Wednesday’s tests. With the lag time of the results, the earliest we’d know about a possible Vikings outbreak would be Thursday.
Titans’ Week 4 game postponed
In essence, the status of the Week 4 games involving the Titans (who play the Steelers) and the Vikings (who play the Houston Texans) are still dependent on the results of tests in the coming days. The NFL announced on Wednesday that Sunday’s Titans-Steelers game is being postponed, and the rescheduling could get complicated if there are additional positives.
It’s unclear if anyone who has already tested positive infected anyone else on the team, or if the virus was transmitted while playing. In fact, we don’t even know how likely it is that an infected person could transmit the coronavirus during normal football activities.
The NFL and NFLPA put a lot of time and thought into their COVID-19 protocols for precisely this scenario. We’re about to find out how well they work.
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