3 Titans players test positive for COVID-19, marking first outbreak in 2020 NFL season

Former Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicks a field goal during the Titans' win on Sunday.
Former Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicks a field goal during the Titans' win on Sunday. –AP

Three Tennessee Titans players and five team personnel have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting a shut down of facilities in Nashville on Tuesday.

The Titans are coming off a 31-30 win at the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are also suspending in-person activities Tuesday due to the positive tests among the Titans.

There is no concrete timeline on how long team facilities will be closed, according to a league source. Contact tracing, additional testing, and disinfection is underway at the Vikings’ and Titans’ facilities.

In a statement from the Titans, the organization said it was acting out of an “abundance of caution.”

“The organization has decided to work remotely today as we follow NFL protocols related to Covid-19,” the statement said. “Several tests have come back positive & we are working through the process of confirming them. We will have more info tomorrow.”

A joint statement from the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association said that they are evaluating “close contacts” and doing additional testing.

“On Tuesday morning, the Titans COVID testing results returned three new player positives and five new personnel positives. The Titans will suspend in-person club activities starting today. Likewise, the Vikings, who played the Titans on Sunday, will also suspend in-person club activities,” the statement said. “Both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the NFLPA, including our infectious 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. We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.”

Shane Bowen, the Titans’ outside linebackers coach, was in COVID protocol and missed Sunday’s game against the Vikings. His test result, which came back positive on Saturday, was known before the team traveled to Minnesota. He did not make the trip.

The Vikings, according to ESPN, have not had any positive tests as of Tuesday morning.

The Titans’ facility could be shut down until Saturday, according to reports.

The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at 1 p.m. The status of that game is still unclear, but the Steelers said in a statement that they were told by the league to “proceed with our game preparations for Sunday’s game until we are informed otherwise.”

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