What to learn about NFL’s first covid-19 outbreak
While there are still questions to be answered as to whether the Titans and Vikings can continue their preparations for Week 4, here’s what we know about the situation.
How often are NFL players tested?
NFL players are tested daily during the regular season, except on match days. The final tests are carried out the morning before the games. Any coach, player or employee who has an inconclusive result of the test the day before the game can be released to play on the day of the match with a negative test result, provided the result is available at least two hours before kick-off.
What if a player tests positive?
If a player tests positive, what happens next depends on whether they are showing symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, or are asymptomatic.
If a player tests positive and shows symptoms: The player cannot return until at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and at least 72 hours have passed since symptoms last appeared. The player’s return must be approved by the team doctor, after consulting the NFL Chief Medical Officer, and must comply with local regulations.
If a player tests positive and shows no symptoms: The player cannot return until 10 days have passed since the first positive test or five days have passed since the first positive test and the player in successive PCR tests that are separated by 24 hours are separated, has tested negative. The player’s return must be approved by the team doctor, after consulting the NFL’s chief medical officer.
What is the Covid-19 reserve list?
Players who test positive or have been quarantined after close contact with an infected person or individuals will be added to the Covid-19 reserve list, a new category of injured reserves created this season.
On Tuesday afternoon, Tennessee put defenseman DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and tight end Tommy Hudson on its Covid-19 reserve list. According to an agreement between the league and the players’ union, the teams are not allowed to disclose why the players were put on the list (in other words, whether they tested positive or were quarantined for possible exposure to the coronavirus).
Players can return to the team if they are healthy or not in quarantine.
What happened to the Titans and Vikings?
The Titans who defeated the Vikings in Minneapolis on Sunday stopped their personal activities Tuesday after three players and five team members tested positive for the coronavirus, the NFL and the players union said. Another Tennessee player learned Wednesday morning that he had tested positive, according to an NFL spokesman, who said Wednesday that all other Titans tests were negative.
On Wednesday, Titan’s coach Mike Vrabel told reporters that some of the people who tested positive have flulike symptoms, but added that this “is nothing out of the ordinary. We assume they will feel better shortly. “
Vrabel had said on Monday that the external linebacker trainer Shane Bowen was included in the team’s Covid-19 protocol on Saturday morning after the test results. Bowen, who calls the Titans Defensive Games, didn’t travel to Minnesota with the team.
The Vikings announced that they had not seen positive test results until Tuesday morning, although they also suspended club personal activities until at least Wednesday. The NFL spokesman said all of the test results from the Vikings who came back Wednesday morning were negative as well.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, was optimistic on Wednesday that the team would return to personal training on Thursday with “more important” protocols.
What does this mean for week 4?
The Titans were scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but the NFL announced on Wednesday that the game would be rescheduled for Monday or Tuesday to allow additional time for more daily COVID-19 tests and the health and safety of players and coaches ensure and staff on game day. “Playing on a Tuesday is rare, but it has happened in the past: In 2010 the league postponed a Viking Eagles game to Tuesday because of a blizzard in Philadelphia that ultimately never happened.
If the Titans Steelers game is no longer playable in week 4, the NFL schedule allows some leeway. The league could make week 4 goodbye week for both teams and postpone the Tennessee-Pittsburgh game for week 7 if Tennessee was originally supposed to have a goodbye and the Steelers were to face the Baltimore Ravens. Week 7 would be Goodbye Week for the Ravens. Baltimore could then face Pittsburgh in week 8, the Steelers’ planned bye week. Plus, it’s a way for Titans-Steelers to play on Monday, and that would give the Titans another day to practice.
The Vikings will visit the Houston Texans on Sunday and the game will continue late Wednesday morning.