Titans clear major COVID-19 hurdle in pursuit to resume play in Week 5, but must repeat it to meet Bills

Titans clear major COVID-19 hurdle in pursuit to resume play in Week 5, but must repeat it to meet Bills

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens

Finally, the Tennessee Titans receive good news. That’s something they haven’t garnered in days, in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak that has seen a list of players and coaches test positive for the novel coronavirus. They were immediately required to close the team’s facility until further notice and both the NFL and NFLPA now have investigators in Nashville to oversee the restoration of play and to probe for possible protocol violations — the latter threatening to carry substantial penalties for the organization (something Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would be a vehement proponent of, if they’re guilty). 

Time will tell how that shakes out, but on Monday all tests for COVID-19 were negative for the first time since news of the outbreak became public, seven days ago — per Adam Schefter of ESPN. The team had 18 positive tests over the past six days, and the league was eventually forced to reschedule their Week 4 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, giving both teams a bye this week. 

They’ll now meet Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS, forcing the Baltimore Ravens to move their Week 8 bye to Week 7 in order to face the Steelers in Week 8.

For the Titans, the first day of completely negative tests is a major step in the right direction, and the Titans must simply test negative for a second straight day in order to get a green light from the league and NFLPA for a return to football. If they get the same good news Tuesday, they’ll potentially be allowed to reopen the team’s facility on Wednesday. If not, their Week 5 battle with the Buffalo Bills will then also be in jeopardy, and the league will again find itself attempting to pivot and reschedule, although there are rumors some would rather the regular season simply pause for two weeks to allow this storm to pass.

As it stands, the NFL has absolutely no plans to take such an extreme measure. It’s a much more measured approach for now, and the Titans might soon be in the clear.

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Written by Tom

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