The coronavirus-hit Tennessee Titans will play their postponed NFL game against Pittsburgh on October 25, the league announced Friday, while the Steelers’ matchup with Baltimore was moved to November 1.
The NFL rescheduling moves came in the wake of a virus outbreak on the Titans that has closed the team’s facility indefinitely and prompted league and NFL Players Association officials to visit Nashville on Friday to inspect the situation.
The Pittsburgh at Tennessee game was originally planned for Sunday but multiple positives in the Titans organisation forced an indefinite postponement of the contest Thursday.
NFL Network and ESPN reported Friday that two more Titans players had tested positive for the deadly virus, bringing the total for the franchise to seven players and six personnel members who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week.
As a result of moving the Titans-Steelers clash, the NFL also shifted Pittsburgh’s previously scheduled October 25 contest at Baltimore to November 1 and shifted the bye week in the schedule for Baltimore ahead one week in the season.
The NFL told clubs on Friday it has reached a deal with the NFLPA to extend daily virus testing until further notice, now covering bye weeks as well.
Tennessee and Pittsburgh will have their bye weeks this weekend as a result of the rescheduling.
Updating coronavirus testing protocol will require players and coaches to stay in their team’s city on their off week, even though it is usually a time when they can travel, so they can provide daily test samples.
Fines and suspensions are possible for players and coaches who do not submit to daily tests on bye weeks.
“There is one simple rule to remember: act as if every person you come into contact with has a Covid infection and take appropriate precautions,” an NFL memo to clubs said.
The Minnesota Vikings, who played Tennessee last Sunday, have had no positive tests through Thursday and will play Houston as scheduled on Sunday.