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Sport Steelers coach Mike Tomlin prepares to play Sunday as scheduled despite Titans' COVID-19 outbreak

11:07  30 september  2020
11:07  30 september  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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While the news of this outbreak within the Titans organization has sparked discussions about potentially moving this contest, coach Mike Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday evening Watch Now: Titans Confirm Multiple Positive Covid - 19 Tests (6:43). Mike Tomlin : Steelers preparing to play .

NFL says eight players and staff have tested positive for virus. Titans were due to play undefeated Steelers The news means the NFL has its first Covid - 19 outbreak since the start of the season. The Titans are scheduled to host the Steelers on Sunday in a matchup of two of the league’s seven

NASHVILLE — Mike Tomlin is proceeding as if everything is normal.

It certainly is not — Tomlin’s Steelers on Sunday are set to face a Titans team that has been struck by a COVID-19 outbreak. Three Tennessee players — defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson — and five team personnel tested positive this week, jeopardizing Sunday’s game at Nissan Stadium.

Steelers-Titans postponed to later in season following more positive tests

  Steelers-Titans postponed to later in season following more positive tests The NFL had originally said the Titans’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers would be played wither Monday or Tuesday of next week, but that has now been postponed to later in the season. The NFL has officially postponed the Steelers-Titans game to “later in the season” due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Titans organization. pic.twitter.com/yy0eK939x1 — Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) October 1, 2020 Fortunately, there have been no positive coronavirus tests announced from the Vikings organization. The spread appears to be contained to the Titans, but the NFL is obviously erring on the side of caution.

As for the Steelers , they are preparing to play Sunday as of now until told otherwise. "On Tuesday morning, the Titans COVID testing results returned three new player positives and five As of now, the expectation is both the Steelers and Titans will meet as planned for their scheduled Week 4 game.

The Tennessee Titans have shut down ALL in-person activities immediately after 3 players and 5 additional staffers have tested positive for COVID - 19 . The Titans will reportedly not be allowed back at the team facility until Saturday -- which begs the question will they play the Pittsburgh Steelers

But Tomlin said his team is going to control what it can.

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“We don’t have a lot of definitive answers,” the Pittsburgh coach said during a news conference Tuesday evening. “We’ve been given a mandate to prepare as if the game is going to be played and played on time, and so that is our mentality. We’ve gone about (Tuesday's) business from a game-planning standpoint with that mentality, and we intend to push into tomorrow with a normal-scheduled Wednesday and our slate of work for Wednesday.

Mike Tomlin wearing a hat: FILE - In this Dec. 29, 2019, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin speaks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore. While Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is encouraged by the fact no players have opted out of the 2020 season, he's also wary the season will be able to go without interruption amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 29, 2019, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin speaks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore. While Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is encouraged by the fact no players have opted out of the 2020 season, he's also wary the season will be able to go without interruption amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

OPINION: Titans' COVID-19 outbreak doesn't need to spell doom for NFL

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Both the Titans and Minnesota Vikings, who played host this past Sunday in Minneapolis, "will suspend in-person club activities starting today The Titans are next scheduled to host to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Vikings are supposed to take on the Houston Texas. Both games are set

The Titans halted in-person workouts on Tuesday after multiple tests inside the organization came back positive for COVID - 19 . The Vikings, who the Titans According to the NFL, three players and five other personnel all had tests come back positive. The Vikings have not reported any positive tests, yet.

“We’ll take it day by day.”

Tomlin said he wasn’t concerned about traveling to face a team that has had positive coronavirus tests.

“No, we’re going to trust the medical experts,” Tomlin said. “If they deem it safe for us to proceed, then we’re going to go down there with the intentions of playing and playing to win.”

ESPN reported one of the NFL's contingency plans includes moving the game to Monday night to facilitate additional testing and contact tracing.

There also has been speculation about potentially making Week 4 a bye week for the Titans and having them play the Steelers in Week 7. Pittsburgh is scheduled to visit the Ravens that week, but both teams have a bye in Week 8, meaning their Week 7 game could be moved back.

“I’m sure they (the NFL) are pondering the possibilities as they gather information relative to the current circumstances,” Tomlin said. “I haven’t been a part of those discussions. We’re singularly focused on preparing to play. That’s the element of the equation that we can control as we sit here today.”

Similarly, Tomlin said he hasn’t spent time putting himself in Mike Vrabel’s shoes. The Titans won’t be able to practice in-person until Saturday as the Tennessee team facility has been closed and all in-person activities have been suspended.

NFL reportedly discussing playoff bubble following coronavirus cases

  NFL reportedly discussing playoff bubble following coronavirus cases The NFL has already postponed one game and had players test positive for the coronavirus on multiple teams, which has led to talk of potentially needing a bubble plan going forward. That is still on the table, at least for the postseason. © Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports Discussions about playing games in a postseason bubble have picked up for the NFL internally, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. The most viable plan would involve the two conference championship games being played in a bubble.

The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday . less. Coach Mike Vrabel said Monday that Bowen was not with the team. Rookie offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson, their top draft pick out of Georgia, also has been on the reserve/ COVID - 19 list for the Titans since Sept.

Three Titans players and five staffers tested positive for COVID - 19 , prompting Likewise, the Vikings, who played the Titans on Sunday , will also suspend in-person club Minnesota is scheduled to visit the Houston Texans on Sunday . Tennessee is scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers in Nashville.

“I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about that,” Tomlin said. “I’ve got my own set of challenges. Trying to prepare our group to tackle (Derrick) Henry and so forth.”

Reach Erik Bacharach at ebacharach@tennessean.com and on Twitter @ErikBacharach.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin prepares to play Sunday as scheduled despite Titans' COVID-19 outbreak

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Tennessee Titans' team facility on track to reopen after another round of clean tests .
Saturday morning's test results create the potential for the Titans to return to their team facility by Saturday afternoon. The source said the NFL wants to see consecutive days of clean test results before the Titans can reopen their team facility, which has been closed since the outbreak came to light on Sept. 29. © George Walker IV / The Tennessean Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel watches his players during practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020 Nashville, Tenn. Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

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