The NFL made it through the first three weeks of the regular season with no disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Tennessee Titans’ practice schedule has now been impacted.
Three players and five other members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19, according to NFL Network. The Titans have closed their practice facility until Saturday, although their game on Sunday at home against the Steelers is still scheduled to be played.
The Vikings, who were beaten by the Titans, 31-30, in Minnesota on Sunday, also closed their practice facility as a precaution, although no players or personnel have tested positive for coronavirus. The Vikings are scheduled to face the Texans in Houston on Sunday.
"Today the NFL notified us that members of the Tennessee Titans organization have tested positive for COVID-19," the Vikings said in a statement Tuesday. "As of this morning, we have not received any positive results from Vikings testing following Sunday’s game. Per the NFL protocol, we will suspend in-person club activities and close TCO Performance Center immediately. We will work closely with the NFL and NFLPA to monitor the situation, perform additional testing and determine when the facility can reopen. We will provide further updates regarding this week’s football schedule when appropriate."
The NFL has strict COVID-19 protocols in place, and there were minimal positive tests during training camp and no outbreaks that forced the postponement of any games so far. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said before the season that the league hopes to play its entire slate of games this year but will adjust if necessary.
In a joint statement issued Tuesday, the NFL and NFL Players Association said the Titans and Vikings "are working closely with the NFL and the NFLPA, including our infections disease experts, to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments. All decisions will be made with health and safety as our primary consideration."
Anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus must quarantine, and those who have been in close proximity with a player or team employee must test negative before being allowed to participate in any team-related activities.
Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell tested positive for the virus was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list on Saturday. The Falcons and Bears played their game as scheduled in Atlanta on Sunday.