Unexpected COVID-19 Outbreak Ripples Through NFL


Photo courtesy of the Tennessee Titans.

Anthony Perry, Editor-in-chief

A COVID-19 outbreak swept through the National Football League, as multiple players and staff members on the Tennessee Titans tested positive for the virus.

On Sunday, Oct. 4, the Titans were scheduled to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, the game was canceled after 20 members of the Tennessee team, including players and personnel, tested positive for COVID-19.

Up to that point there had been no reported cases of NFL players or coaches testing positive for the coronavirus.

The NFL has been very strict about enforcing COVID-19 protocols, as coaches around the league have been fined more than one million dollars for failing to wear masks during games.

“Obviously, playing a sport as tough and hands on as football, this stuff is bound to happen,” said Shane Phillips, a San Francisco 49ers fan.

The Steelers versus Titans game was and will likely be rescheduled for later in the season.

In the wake of the virus outbreak, other teams, including the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, each saw one player test positive. Their game was moved to Monday, Oct. 5, as the game was originally slated to start on the same Sunday.

The NFL is currently investigating the Titans for failing to maintain proper COVID-related procedures such as testing, sanitation, and mask wearing during practices.

According to ESPN, the Titans outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen had failed to report any signs or symptoms that may have indicated he had contracted COVID-19. It was later confirmed this coach tested positive for the virus.

Since Sunday, the Titans haven’t reported any additional positive COVID-19 tests. However, their upcoming game against the Buffalo Bills remains in jeopardy, as the league has yet to decide if the game will be rescheduled, or cancelled for the remainder of the season.