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 three players — starting nose tackle DaQuan Jones, long-snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson — have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
While no official decision has been made about the Titans’ game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Nashville, the NFL wants and intends to have that game played as scheduled, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
One of the contingency plans to allow for additional testing and contact tracing would be to move the game to Monday night, a source told ESPN.
The eight new positive tests for the Titans 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.
“This is not unexpected,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote Tuesday to the chief executives and presidents for every team in a memo, which was obtained by ESPN. “There will be players and staff who will test positive during the season.”
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, also have closed their facility indefinitely, 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.
Although the facility is closed, players are still able to do drive-through testing.
League contact tracing identified 48 close contacts with the eight members of the Titans organization who tested positive, sources told Graziano.
The NFL issued a statement saying both the Titans and Vikings are working with the league, the NFL Players Association and medical officials “to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments … with health and safety as our primary consideration.”