NFL: First Covid-19 Team Outbreak

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Max Donnelly, Writer

The NFL got its first team outbreak of Covid-19 when eight Tennessee Titans tested positive for Covid-19 late Monday night on September 28. They had a game the day before that so it is possible that they could have spread it to the Vikings at the game in Minneapolis on Sunday the 27th. It also could have been spread by their linebackers coach as well as defensive back Greg Mabin. It’s also possible they got it at the hotel where they stayed before the game. Starting on Tuesday they have suspended in person activities for the Tennessee Titans and the Minnesota Vikings. Both teams have shut down their facilities and started sending people home. 

The Tennessee Titans game in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers has been postponed to later in the season. The decision for the Vikings against the Houston Texans game is going to happen after there has been no positive cases for the Minnesota Vikings. Earlier that week the Titan’s linebackers coach Shane Bowen tested positive and was held back from making the trip to Minneapolis. The infected players and coaches cannot return to their practice facilities before Sunday. The officials of the Titans game are being tested twice a week and the officials of the game can not work for the week 4 games.

At this time, the outbreak is not contained because it can take five to seven days for the infection to register in a test. Players could have it for five days while being tested and still not know they have it. On the Saturday before the game the Tennessee Titans had no positive tests so were clear to play in Sunday’s game. On Monday, they got tested and late that night they received positive Covid-19 results for eight players and coaches. On Thursday another two people from the Titans program tested positive for Covid-19. Titans Head coach Mike Vrabel said “Nobody is to blame. We’re in a pandemic,” and said the team was following the guidelines closely. “We’re doing everything we can to make players safe and that this doesn’t happen again. Some of the players that tested positive were symptomatic.”

As the days move on there are more and more cases. October 5 was the first time in 7 days that the NFL had no positive Covid-19 tests. The New England Patriots star Cam Newton has tested positive, but as of October 5th no other Patriots players have tested positive. The Monday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs was played as scheduled. On Wednesday October 7, New England cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive for Covid-19 and a player for the Las Vegas Raiders has also tested positive as well as two more Tennessee Titans. As more cases are coming every day, and with three teams already infected, the NFL season could be in jeopardy soon.