National Football League teams suspend in-person activities after positive COVID-19 tests

Tanya Simon
September 29, 2020

The NFL announced on Tuesday that three different players and five personnel members from the Tennessee Titans have tested positive for COVID-19. Both the Titans and the Minnesota Vikings, who hosted the Titans on Sunday, will suspend in-person activities, per the report.

If a player tests positive and is not showing symptoms: The player can not return until 10 days have passed since the initial positive test, or five days have passed since the initial positive test and the player tests negative in two consecutive PCR tests separated by 24 hours. The positive tests were confirmed after additional testing and those who tested positive have been asymptomatic. "We will have more information tomorrow".

The first covid-19 outbreak has hit the National Football League, and it could impact the Pittsburgh Steelers' game Sunday.

According to ESPN's Dan Graziano, contact tracing has identified 48 members of the Vikings organization who had close contact with those who tested positive from the Titans.

The Vikings released a statement saying they had not received any positive results from their testing after Sunday's game against the Titans.

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No decision has been made on the state of those games, but a larger outbreak would most certainly postpone them to stop an even bigger outbreak. Any coach, player or staffer who has an inconclusive result from the test taken the day before the game can be cleared to play with a negative test result on game day, provided that the result is available at least two hours before kickoff. The Titans played against the Vikings in Week 3, placing two different games in doubt for Week 4 of the National Football League season.

The full statement from the Vikings released Tuesday reads: "Today the National Football League notified us that members of the Tennessee Titans organization have tested positive for COVID-19". The Steelers are scheduled to play in Baltimore that day, but with both teams having a bye the following week, the Steelers-Ravens game could be played November 1. Baltimore could then face Pittsburgh in Week 8, which is the Steelers' scheduled bye week. But they are also keeping their facility closed Wednesday, a day they would have returned to practice but now will not.

What about the rules for a player returning after a positive test?

The solution seemingly is more complicated if the Vikings and Texans can not play in Week 4.

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