Timeline of the NFL COVID-19 outbreak: How constructive assessments led to postponed video games

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A recent spherical of constructive assessments have already brought on two extra video games to be postponed and extra might be coming because the NFL schedule continues to be shuffled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

New England’s Week 5 sport in opposition to the Denver Broncos was moved to next Sunday, Oct. 18.

The Tennessee Titans have been the primary NFL crew to expertise a COVID-19 outbreak. Their variety of constructive assessments is now as much as 24 after a employees member examined constructive on Sunday. The Titans preserve they’ve adhered to NFL/NFLPA protocols and procedures.

Contact tracing was initiated as quickly as constructive assessments have been obtained, based on Titans coach Mike Vrabel. Gamers and choose crew workers put on a proximity recording gadget that tracks interplay with others who put on the gadget. Anybody who was in shut proximity to an individual who assessments constructive is subjected to a number of assessments. In line with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, the coronavirus incubation interval can last as long as 14 days. An contaminated individual could be contagious as much as 72 hours earlier than they even start displaying signs.

Whereas the Titans have been the primary crew to be affected, they weren’t the final. Here’s a timeline of how every part has unfolded for the Titans and the NFL as extra groups are receiving constructive assessments.

Thursday, Sept. 24: Titans defensive again Greg Mabin assessments constructive. Mabin was faraway from the crew facility after receiving a constructive check, based on Vrabel. He was positioned instantly into the protocol.

Added Vrabel: “When he examined constructive, he was faraway from the constructing. He was quarantined, and people people that have been shut contacts with him have been additionally retested and went by way of their protocol as effectively.”

The Titans signed Mabin to their follow squad on Sept. 21 so as to add depth. There are new procedures for bringing in a free agent because of the pandemic.

“If you attempt gamers out, they undergo a means of testing and quarantine earlier than you’re employed them out, after which once you work them out, you resolve to signal them or not, after which they’re into the testing protocol,” Vrabel stated Thursday. “At that time limit, when he examined constructive, we went by way of and adopted the protocol and he was faraway from the ability.”

Saturday, Sept. 26: Titans exterior linebackers coach Shane Bowen assessments constructive. The Titans obtained Bowen’s constructive check. Bowen did not make the journey to Minnesota when the Titans performed the Vikings.

“Once we get the outcomes early within the morning, Todd [Toriscelli, director of sports medicine] and his employees and Adrian [Dixon, assistant athletic trainer] start the contact tracing. They do the follow-up testing after which we proceed from there with the protocol because it pertains to any of the positives that may come up,” Vrabel stated Thursday. “There is a POC check which occurs, and we’re very assured that we have adopted the rules with the protocol that the league and the gamers’ affiliation have set forth because it pertains to figuring out these individuals of shut contact and through the use of the tracing gadgets.”

Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell was positioned on the reserve/COVID-19 checklist. Contact tracing to different gamers and personnel members did not produce any constructive assessments, so the Falcons have been cleared to play the Chicago Bears.

Sunday, Sept. 27: Titans play the Vikings in Minnesota. The Titans defeated the Vikings with Vrabel calling the defensive performs rather than Bowen, who did it for the primary two video games.

No Vikings have examined constructive because the Titans sport.

Monday, Sept. 28: Information breaks of Bowen’s constructive check. Vrabel confirmed that Bowen had a constructive check and did not make the journey to Minnesota. He stated that Bowen wasn’t with the crew and that the Titans had adopted NFL/NFLPA procedures.

“I might say we have adopted all of the protocols because it pertains to COVID,” Vrabel stated. “We’re following the hundred memos that they’ve despatched out verbatim.”

Titans’ constructive assessments: one participant, one crew personnel member

Tuesday, Sept. 29: Titans have eight extra constructive assessments. The Titans obtained new constructive assessments from three gamers and 5 employees members. They positioned defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, long-snapper Beau Brinkley and follow squad tight finish Tommy Hudson on the reserve/COVID-19 checklist.

All in-person actions on the Titans’ facility have been suspended, however the Week 4 sport in Nashville in opposition to the Pittsburgh Steelers had not but been affected.

“We have been given a mandate to organize as if the sport goes to be performed and performed on time,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stated.

The Vikings obtained information of the extra constructive assessments and closed their facility together with placing a halt to all in-person actions.

Titans’ constructive assessments: 4 gamers, six crew personnel members

Wednesday, Sept. 30: One other Titan assessments constructive. Outdoors linebacker Kamalei Correa was positioned on the reserve/COVID-19 checklist. Vrabel was getting ready the crew to play as early as Monday. In line with Vrabel, the gamers who have been in want of remedy have been capable of enter the ability to see the athletic coaching employees. Anybody who entered the constructing was required to put on a masks always.

Vrabel additionally stated that a number of the gamers who examined constructive have been experiencing flu-like signs however that he anticipated that “they’ll really feel higher shortly.”

Minnesota reopened its facility with enhanced protocols. ESPN Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin reported that everybody getting into the constructing needed to have a adverse PCR check and a adverse level of care check (nasal swab with outcomes obtainable in 20 minutes).

Titans’ constructive assessments: 5 gamers, six crew personnel members

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Dr. Myron Rolle sounds off on what the NFL nonetheless must do to make gamers really feel extra snug about enjoying throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, Oct. 1: Two extra Titans check constructive; NFL postpones Steelers vs. Titans. The Titans positioned cornerback Kristian Fulton on the reserve/COVID-19 checklist. An extra unnamed crew personnel member additionally examined constructive.

In line with a press release, the NFL’s choice to maneuver the sport to a later date was made “to make sure the well being and security of gamers, coaches and sport day personnel.”

Vrabel stated the Titans have been “very confident that we’ve followed the guidelines with the protocol that the league and the gamers’ affiliation have set forth.” The Titans’ facility remained closed. All gamers, coaches and choose crew members continued testing whereas the crew was on its bye week because of the postponement.

Vrabel delivered information of the postponement to the Titans throughout a digital crew assembly at 8:30 a.m. The Titans turned their consideration to their Week 5 opponent, the Buffalo Bills.

“We had a squad assembly to tell the crew that, in mild of the 2 current constructive assessments that we had, the NFL had made the good and secure choice to postpone our sport, and that we’d be on a bye week beginning now,” Vrabel stated. “[We] reminded them to not collect with one another, gamers and employees, till we are able to discover a secure solution to enter in again to our constructing … hopefully which might occur Monday or Tuesday, [and] we’d then [begin] preparation in opposition to Buffalo.”

The NFL additionally issued a memo with enhanced protocols for groups to observe after publicity to the coronavirus — together with two every day assessments. PPE and face masks have to be worn by all gamers and coaches on the follow discipline, and gloves have to be worn by everybody besides quarterbacks on their throwing hand. All conferences have to be digital, and there will even be every day deep cleanings of the ability. The protocols additionally prohibit crew or participant gatherings away from the ability.

Titans’ constructive assessments: six gamers, seven crew personnel members

Friday, Oct. 2: Two extra Titans check constructive; NFL reschedules Steelers vs. Titans for Week 7. The Titans positioned broad receivers Adam Humphries and Cam Batson on the reserve/COVID-19 checklist.

Each the Titans and the Steelers had their bye modified to Week 4. Officers from the NFL and NFLPA visited Nashville to look into the outbreak additional.

The NFL launched one other memo, this time outlining procedures throughout the bye week and “testing cadence.” The assertion reminds gamers there’s a $50,000 fantastic for lacking a check. A second missed check leads to a one-game suspension.

Any participant who misses a every day check with out authorization throughout the bye week should have 5 adverse PCR assessments (taken 24 hours aside) earlier than reentering a crew facility.

Titans’ constructive assessments: eight gamers, seven crew personnel members

Saturday, Oct. 3: A number of NFL constructive assessments. The Titans obtained one other constructive check for a participant — defensive finish Jeffery Simmons, their 2019 first-rounder — and two for crew personnel members.

Information broke that New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton had examined constructive on Saturday morning. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that, per a supply, the Patriots did mass testing and retesting and there was no speedy unfold.

Chiefs follow squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu additionally examined constructive for the coronavirus, based on a supply.

Titans’ constructive assessments: 9 gamers, 9 crew personnel members

Sunday, Oct. 4: Two extra Titans obtain constructive assessments. One participant and one member of crew personnel examined constructive; the Titans stated they’d add Khari Blasingame to the reserve/COVID-19 checklist on Monday. Sunday marked the sixth consecutive day a Titans participant examined constructive. The NFL and the NFL Gamers Affiliation investigated whether the Titans violated the league’s coronavirus-related protocols, sources instructed ESPN. The NFL and NFLPA requested the Titans to show over a number of videotapes of crew actions so they may get a greater thought of the basis of the outbreak, based on sources.

Sunday’s Patriots vs. Chiefs sport was moved to Monday.

A New Orleans Saints participant had a constructive COVID-19 check Saturday, however a retest came back negative and that contact tracing discovered adverse assessments amongst these gamers as effectively.

Titans’ constructive assessments: 10 gamers, 10 crew personnel members

Monday, Oct. 5: Titans obtain zero constructive assessments, Chiefs vs. Patriots and Packers vs. Falcons as scheduled. After six consecutive days of receiving constructive assessments, all assessments got here again adverse for the Titans. Vrabel met nearly with gamers and coaches within the morning to begin getting ready for the Payments.

The NFL releases a memo to all groups to reemphasize taking precautions by sustaining bodily distancing, carrying face coverings and practising wholesome hand hygiene. The memo additionally requires an extended onboarding course of for free-agent tryouts, limitations on the variety of tryouts per week, bans gatherings exterior the constructing and implements a league-wide video monitoring system to make sure compliance. In line with the memo, groups present in violation of protocol that leads to an outbreak that requires an adjustment to the schedule are topic to monetary and aggressive self-discipline that may embrace lack of draft picks and forfeiture of a sport.

All assessments given to Chiefs gamers on Monday morning got here again adverse. The Patriots obtain in a single day PCR check outcomes that got here again adverse and fly to Kansas Metropolis to face the Chiefs as scheduled.

Tuesday, Oct. 6: Titans obtain zero constructive assessments in consecutive days. The Titans had all assessments come again adverse. Vrabel had digital conferences with the gamers and coaches within the morning. Vrabel stated he was hopeful the crew would be capable to return to its facility on Wednesday if no further constructive assessments have been obtained. Vrabel additionally stated the gamers who examined constructive took a step in the fitting route however did not anticipate them coming again this week.

In line with Vrabel, not one of the gamers who have been in want of remedy have been capable of work with the athletic trainers.

“We stayed involved with all of the gamers that may require remedy,” Vrabel stated. “Plenty of them have been despatched house with stuff. Actually assured in Todd [Toriscelli] and what he can do for our gamers to get them to return, and there have been some shifting elements because it associated to having guys, injured guys, within the constructing, after which in some unspecified time in the future in time we determined right here within the final couple of days to maintain these guys away and once more, hopeful tomorrow we’ll be capable to get these guys again into the coaching room.”

The Patriots (follow squad defensive sort out Invoice Murray) and Raiders (defensive sort out Maurice Hurst) each positioned gamers on the reserve/COVID-19 checklist.

The Packers positioned an indefinite maintain on followers attending video games at Lambeau Subject due to a rise of COVID-19 circumstances within the Inexperienced Bay space and all through Wisconsin.

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Adam Schefter experiences {that a} Titans assistant coach examined constructive for COVID-19, inflicting the crew to briefly shut its facility, and provides that Tennessee’s Week 5 sport vs. Buffalo on Tuesday is in query.

Wednesday, Oct. 7: Two Titans gamers check constructive, Patriots cornerbackStephon Gilmore assessments constructive. The Titans positioned WR Corey Davis on the reserve/COVID-19 checklist. After having two players test positive following two positive-free days, the Titans will not open their facility. They’re going to now want two extra days of consecutive adverse assessments earlier than the NFL can think about permitting them to return to the constructing.

Stories surfaced a group of Titans players held a workout on Sept. 30 at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville. Questions arose concerning whether or not it was a violation of league protocols/procedures. A league memo was despatched to groups on Oct. 1 that banned all in-person actions exterior of the ability.

After Gilmore, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, tested positive, the Patriots have three gamers who’ve constructive assessments since Saturday and can work remotely. New England’s sport in opposition to the Denver Broncos might be moved. The Chiefs obtained no constructive assessments on Wednesday after enjoying the Patriots on Monday night time. They can follow in preparation for his or her sport in opposition to the Raiders on Sunday.

Titans’ constructive assessments: 12 gamers, 10 crew personnel members

Thursday, Oct. 8: One other constructive Titans check; Extra video games postponed. Along with the brand new constructive check, the Titans’ inconclusive check from Wednesday was confirmed to be constructive. The Titans positioned TE MyCole Pruitt and follow squad DB Breon Borders on the reserve/COVID-19 checklist. Additionally, follow squad TE Tommy Hudson, who can be on reserve/COVID-19 checklist, has been suspended with out pay for six video games for violating the NFL’s coverage on performance-enhancing substances.

The Titans’ facility stays closed. ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported Payments and Titans gamers instructed her Sunday’s sport could be moved to Tuesday. The Payments have a sport in opposition to the Chiefs the next Thursday, which was moved to Sunday.

Relating to the exercise Titans gamers had on Sept. 30, the team was informed on Sept. 29 that in-person gatherings had been banned due to the group’s ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, a league supply instructed ESPN’s Dan Graziano, which means that the gamers’ casual exercises the next day have been unauthorized and a violation of the NFL’s virus-related protocols. A number of Titans gamers, nonetheless, have instructed ESPN that they have been unaware exercises had been banned on Sept. 29.

The Patriots obtained excellent news when all of their assessments got here again adverse.

Two Week 5 video games have been moved. The Broncos-Patriots sport strikes from Sunday to Monday night time (5 p.m. ET, ESPN). The Titans-Payments sport strikes from Sunday to Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, CBS) so long as there are not any extra constructive assessments with Tennessee, sources instructed Schefter. The Payments-Chiefs sport, which was scheduled for Thursday, will as a substitute be moved to Oct. 18, so long as there are not any extra constructive assessments in Tennessee, a supply instructed Schefter.

Titans’ constructive assessments: 13 gamers, 10 crew personnel members

Friday, Oct. 9: Titans obtain zero constructive assessments, Jets obtain a scare. The entire assessments got here again adverse for the Titans.

After a presumptive constructive check by a Jets participant, the crew despatched all gamers and coaches house. The power was shut down because the crew re-ran the check at a lab in New Jersey. All actions have been moved to a digital setting. Upon re-testing, that Jets participant was discovered to be a false constructive. The Arizona Cardinals boarded their airplane for his or her sport in opposition to the Jets on Sunday.

Saturday, Oct. 10: One other day of adverse assessments for Titans prompts return to their facility. The Titans had all adverse assessments for the second consecutive day. The power was reopened for the primary time since Sept. 29. Apply was moved indoors attributable to inclement climate.

The Patriots returned to their facility after working remotely since Wednesday. They as soon as once more obtained all adverse assessments.

Mike Vrabel outlines the preparation week for Tuesday’s sport in opposition to the Payments. The Titans take away Isaiah Wilson and Greg Mabin from the reserve/COVID-19 checklist.

A Chicago Bears follow squad participant assessments constructive.

One of many Chiefs’ energy and conditioning coaches check constructive. Contact tracing begins for each groups.

Sunday, Oct. 11: Patriots, Titans obtain constructive assessments; two Broncos video games postponed. The Patriots obtained a constructive check and shut their constructing down whereas additional testing was performed. New England’s Week 5 sport in opposition to the Denver Broncos was moved to subsequent Sunday. The Broncos have been presupposed to play Miami subsequent Sunday however that sport can be rescheduled.

The Titans obtained a constructive check from a employees member and shut down their facility. They activated DL DaQuan Jones and LS Beau Brinkley from the reserve/COVID-19 checklist. Each gamers have been positioned on the checklist on Sept. 29.

Titans’ constructive assessments: 13 gamers, 11 crew personnel members

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