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Report: Tennessee Titans Battle New Covid-19 Cases For Sixth Straight Day

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Topline

Two more members of the Tennessee Titans have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Associated Press reported Sunday, as the NFL investigates whether the team’s ongoing outbreak was spurred by a disregard for pandemic-era safety protocols.

Tennessee Titans v Minnesota Vikings

Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans runs with the ball on a fourth down play in the second … [+] quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Key Facts

Another player and staff member have tested positive for the virus, an anonymous source told the AP, bringing the team’s total case count to 20. 

This marks the sixth consecutive day at least one team member tested positive for Covid-19, dashing hopes of a return to the team’s practice facility early next week.

The NFL and its Players Association officially opened an investigation into the Titans on Friday, with officials traveling to Nashville to assess potential coronavirus protocol breaches. 

People with knowledge of the situation told CBS Sports that immediate data about potential infractions suggests the team may face significant penalties. 

A key source of investigation is the signing of defensive back Greg Mabin onto the team’s practice squad—Mabin tested positive for Covid-19 two days later, which is how the virus may have entered the facility, per early contract tracing results

The league will reinforce the importance of following protocols and provide testing updates in a conference call to 32 teams on Monday. 

Surprising Fact

The Titans’ outbreak, which has left multiple players infected, led to the first coronavirus-related schedule modification of the season. On Friday, the NFL officially rescheduled the Week 4 matchup between the Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers to Week 7 on Oct. 25—the first time any NFL game has had to be postponed since 2017. 

Key Background 

The Titans isn’t the only team to have problems with the virus. Players from the New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs are also on the league’s Covid-19 list. Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for the virus on Saturday and has been pulled from the game against the Chiefs, which has been moved to Monday. 

Quick Tangent 

A coronavirus scare almost caused the rescheduling of another NFL game this week. New Orleans Saints fullback Michael Burton tested positive for the virus on Saturday but additional testing revealed this to be a false positive. The game will continue as planned on Sunday. 

Further Reading 

“Tennessee’s Covid-19 Outbreak Continues: Three More Titans Test Positive” (Forbes) 

“NFL Reportedly Issues New Covid-19 Regulations Following Titans Outbreak” (Forbes) 

“Cam Newton Tests Positive For Covid-19. Patriots-Chiefs Game Now In Jeopardy.” (Forbes)

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