The NFL announced o Wednesday morning that Sunday’s Week 4 matchup between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers has been postponed.
This after a fourth Titans player tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, joining defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson. The latter three were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday as the NFL shut down the team’s facility.
Five staff members also tested positive for the virus.
The decision to postpone the Week 4 matchup is to “allow additional time for further daily COVID-19 testing and to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches, and gameday personnel.”
The game is expected to be played on either Monday or Tuesday with the league announcing the decision “as soon as possible.”
Tennessee’s Week 3 opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, also shutdown their team facilities on Tuesday for at least two days, though they have not reported any positive tests.
This is the first major outbreak that has swept through an NFL team’s locker room this season, providing the first real test for commissioner Roger Goodell, who was originally hesitant to release a health-and-safety plan over the summer.
In a letter sent to all 32 teams on Tuesday, he outlined how they’ll continue to monitor the situation to ensure the season is not derailed.
“This is not unexpected… there will be players and staff who will test positive during the season,” he wrote.
Those who tested positive must isolate and will be monitored, along with their family members, too. Any other close contacts have been forced to isolate and will receive additional testing.
“These results confirm the need to remain diligent in implementing all of our health and safety protocols to the fullest extent,” Goodell said. “This includes not only our testing program, bu facility maintenance, wearing of PPE by players and staff, and carefully regulating behavior and contacts outside of the club facility.”
“In addition, clubs should revisit the steps they have taken to minimize the number of close contacts, particularly while traveling and within position groups, and should review their procedures for bringing in new players for tryouts and possible signing.”
This story first appeared on AMNY.com