AP source: New Titans positive test raises total to 23 cases
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have had another positive test result to raise their outbreak to 23 cases, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Also, an inconclusive positive result from Wednesday now is positive. The Titans’ facility remains closed and the team remains prohibited from any in-person activities, putting Sunday’s game with Buffalo (4-0) at risk of at least being postponed.
Now 21 have been returned since Sept. 29 for the Titans (3-0) with at least one positive test on eight of the past 10 days with the latest results, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither the NFL nor Tennessee has announced the latest results.
The NFL already postponed, then rescheduled the Titans’ game with Pittsburgh from Oct. 4 to Oct. 25.
The league’s investigation into how Tennessee turned into the league’s first COVID-19 outbreak found “several specific incidents” of the Titans possibly breaking protocols dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, a person with knowledge of the inquiry told the AP on Wednesday.
Also, the headmaster of a private school in Nashville confirmed to the AP on Wednesday that several Titans, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill, practiced on its field Sept. 30. That was a day before the NFL first postponed Tennessee’s game with Pittsburgh before rescheduling to Oct. 25.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell warned all 32 teams Monday that following league protocols is mandatory and that violations forcing changes in the schedule could lead to forfeiting games. The NFL also updated protocols on Oct. 2.
The Patriots are missing a second straight day of practice Thursday after reigning NFL Defensive Player of the year Stephon Gilmore joined quarterback Cam Newton on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. New England also has a defensive tackle from the practice squad on the list in the league’s other mini-outbreak.
New England coach Bill Belichick said Thursday the team closed its facility for the health and safety of the club and is continuing to prepare for Sunday’s game with Denver virtually. Whether the Patriots return to their facility Friday will be a medical decision rather than a football one, Belichick said.
“Things are changing very quickly so or could change very quickly,. Sometimes they do sometimes they don’t,” Belichick said. “We knew that at the beginning of the season that there were going to be challenges. There have been. And we’re ready to work through them. And that’s what we’re doing.”
Once a team is deemed to be in the midst of an outbreak, the NFL has new protocols sent to all 32 teams Oct. 1 detailing additional steps including a second daily tests when dealing with an outbreak or having been exposed to an outbreak.