The Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings, who played each other Sunday, have closed their practice facilities after three Titans players and five team personnel members tested positive for the coronavirus, the NFL announced Tuesday.
As reported by ESPN, the Titans facility will remain closed through Saturday, while no reopening timeframe for the Vikings' facility has been offered despite no players on that team testing positive through Tuesday morning.
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. Team sources confirmed to ESPN that the Titans will prepare for this week's game primarily through virtual film-study meetings.
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.
"This is not unexpected," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote Tuesday to the chief executives and presidents for every team in a memo obtained by ESPN. "There will be players and staff who will test positive during the season."
Goodell's memo said all players and staff who have tested positive will be isolated and monitored, and their family members will be offered testing as well.
In addition, the officiating crew that worked Sunday's game will be tested daily for COVID-19 this week and, out of an abundance of caution, will not work a game in Week 4. The NFL always has at least one crew on a bye each week.
"Each of us has a special responsibility to keep others safe and healthy," Goodell said in the memo. "What each of us does affects not only ourselves and our immediate families, but many others on our own club and on other clubs."
A Titans statement said, "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,"
Although the Titans' 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.
Players who test positive for COVID-19 and remain asymptomatic can return 10 days after the test or after five days with two consecutive negative tests within a five-day period. Those who show symptoms can return 10 days after the symptoms first appear and 72 hours have passed since any symptoms have ended.
All players who test positive must be cleared by the team's physician and undergo cardiac testing.