The NFL is now facing its most difficult test when it comes to attempting to play a season amid a worldwide pandemic.
The Tennessee Titans’ Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers slated for Sunday has already been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the Titans’ organization. That game has now been rescheduled for Week 7.
Tennessee is slated to take on the Buffalo Bills in Nashville next weekend. There’s now some concern over that game.
Growing concern over Bills-Titans Week 5 NFL game due to COVID-19 outbreak
“Now that the Bills can turn their full attention toward Tennessee, there’s growing concern about whether and when the game will be played,” Jason Wolf of Buffalo News reported Sunday evening.
There’s every reason for this sense of caution. The news coming out of Tennessee is not great.
Titans COVID-19 update
- One more player and coach tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
- This means that 10 players and 10 staff members have come down with COVID-19 since Sept. 24.
- The Titans can’t return to their facility until Wednesday, at the earliest, due to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
As for the Bills, head coach Sean McDermott noted that he’s more concerned about the health of those impacted than an actual NFL game following his team’s fourth consecutive win to open the 2020 season.
“I’m concerned,” McDermott said. “When people are sick, we’re concerned, whether it’s a competitor or not, so we hope that everyone is doing OK on their end, or improving.”
2020 NFL season and COVID-19
The NFL itself could also be in a bit of a pickle when it comes to this. Earlier on Sunday, it was reported that the league is considering playing a Week 18 after the regularly-scheduled season finales. This might end up being imminent depending on how the NFL’s season goes as it relates to the pandemic.
Remember, the New England Patriots’ game against the Kansas City Chiefs slated for Sunday was postponed after Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19. While that game is on track to be played Monday, it will depend on test results leading up to kickoff.
This was always going to be problematic. Playing a football season outside of a bubble as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the United States. All of this with the backdrop of President Trump currently being hospitalized at Walter Reed after he contracted the virus.
As for the NFL, their protocols are going to be tested big time moving forward this season. It could potentially force the league into a bubble atmosphere, much like what we’re seeing with the NBA in Orlando.