COVID-19 Outbreak Forces Regular Season NFL Games to be Postponed

David D’Annibale, Staff Writer |

The matchups between the Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots vs. the Kansas City Chiefs were postponed after multiple players tested positive for COVID-19. The NFL is attempting to trace the origin of the outbreak and will have to reschedule the games without interfering with other teams’ schedules.

The first news of COVID-19 outbreaks within the sports world started with the Titans following their game with the Minnesota Vikings. On Sept. 29, both the Titans and Vikings suspended all in-person activities and shut down team facilities to prevent spreading the virus after three Titans players and personnel had tested positive . However, the Vikings had zero positive cases throughout the week, allowing them to reopen the facility on Sept. 31. Minnesota will play their scheduled game against the Houston Texans at 1 p.m. on Oct. 4. However, Tennessee cases continue to rise throughout the week as the total is 16 and could rise as players and personnel are tested each day. The team is optimistic that they will be able to return to their facility before their next game. The NFL hasn’t traced an exact cause of the outbreak, but the NFL discovered that the bus driver for the Titans tested positive. The driver also drove the Houston Astros to their games against the Minnesota Twins. Currently, there have not been any cases reported from the Astros and the team removed the driver. The NFL is investigating the Titans to see if they followed all COVID-19 protocols. If found guilty, the team could be disciplined. The league has rescheduled the game to be played on Oct. 25 and moved the originally scheduled Steelers vs. Ravens game to Nov. 1 at 1 p.m.

The postponement of the Chiefs vs. Patriots game came late on Oct. 4, the day before their scheduled game. The news came earlier on the same day that Patriots quarterback Cam Newton tested positive. For the Chiefs, backup quarterback Jordan Ta’amu tested positive for COVID-19. Both players have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The NFL is attempting to have the game rescheduled to either Monday or Tuesday . On Oct. 5, another round of testing occurred and no other players on New England or Kansas City have tested positive. The game has been rescheduled to be played Monday night at 7:00 p.m. and their game will be the first of two games with the Falcons and Packers starting at 8:50 p.m.

This is the first time this season that the NFL has postponed games but not the first time a player has tested positive of COVID-19 during the season. The cornerback for the Falcons, AJ Terrell, tested positive for COVID a few days before the game against the Chicago Bears but no other players on the team had positive test results. The NFL has been fortunate thus far but if more outbreaks continue to occur, the rest of the NFL season could be postponed.

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