The NFL Files its First Positive COVID-19 Cases, Update
The National Football League went three weeks strong with no confirmed Coronavirus cases. But on Tuesday, Sept. 29, the Tennessee Titans announced eight of their members tested positive for COVID-19.
It is suspected the three players and five staff members caught the virus from one of the Titans’ coaches. According to ESPN, the Titans’ defensive play-caller, Shane Bowen, was placed on COVID-19 protocol after the team received word that he had tested positive for the virus on Saturday, Sept. 26, a day before the Tennessee Titans played the Minnesota Vikings.
Not only is the NFL keeping an eye on the infections, but now that there have been more confirmed cases, the Tennessee Titans have been receiving a lot of backlash for still playing against the Vikings a day after they found out one of their staff members was contaminated.
Sport Illustrated representative Albert Breer tweeted yesterday, “Titans OLB coach Shane Bowen tested positive late last week. His case is NOT one of 8 positives that came up today (5 personnel, 3 players).”
He later added, “Titans’ facility will undergo a deep cleaning, per NFL protocols. Call on re-opening = day-by-day basis.”
The Minnesota Vikings have not confirmed any COVID-19 cases on their end, but did release a statement regarding the issue.
“Today the NFL notified us that members of the Tennessee Titans organization have tested positive for COVID-19,” the statement read.
“As of this morning, we have not received any positive results from Vikings testing following Sunday’s game. We will suspend all in-person activities and close all performance centers immediately. We will be sure to monitor the situation, perform additional testing and wait to reopen facilities when it is safe to do so. We will provide further updates regarding this week’s football schedule when appropriate.”
Although each team suspended in-person activity, they are both preparing to compete as the NFL season continues.
The Minnesota Vikings are set to play the Houston Texans, while the Tennessee Titans battle against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both the Steelers and Texans confirmed they will still play despite the outbreak.
NFL COVID Outbreak Update
According to ESPN, the Tennessee Titans have a reported total of 22 positive COVID members on their team, 12 of them are players, and 10 are staff.
The two latest Titans members who have contracted the virus were reported on Wednesday, Oct. 7. To continue with their season, they will need to have two consecutive days of negative test results in order for their facilities to reopen again.
Not only are the Titans on COVID’s radar, but the Patriots quarterback, Cam Newton, recently tested positive as well.
News broke Saturday, Oct. 3 resulting in Newton having to sit out during Week 4 of the NFL season. The Patriots vs. Chiefs game that was supposed to be held Sunday, Oct. 4 was postponed to Monday, Oct. 5. The Chiefs ended up beating the Patriots 26-10.
Since Newton’s COVID-19 results, a total of three players on the Patriots have tested positive for Coronavirus. The Patriots are expected to play the Cleveland Browns this Sunday, but that game may be postponed if members of the Patriots continue to become infected.
Although more COVID-19 outbreaks begin to manifest within the NFL, the league will still proceed with the 2020 season. They advise all teams to continue with social distancing and adhere to any safety protocols that will prevent the virus from spreading.