Three players and five staffers with the Tennessee Titans tested positive for coronavirus, forcing two NFL teams off the practice field on Tuesday, the league and players union announced.
Both the Titans and Minnesota Vikings, who played host this past Sunday in Minneapolis, “will suspend in-person club activities starting today,” according to the joint statement.
The Vikings said that, as of Tuesday morning, it had received no positive tests results for anyone with their club.
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 for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.
The statement did not make mention if those upcoming contests will be played.
“All decisions will be made with health and safety as our primary consideration,” according to the union and league. “We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.”
The league’s Covid-19 protocols do not spell out exactly how many players would need to test positive for a game to be postponed.
“There is no algorithm for postponing a game,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement to NBC News. “We will monitor and evaluate the situation on a day-by-day basis.”
As of Tuesday morning, the Steelers expect to be playing at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
“We have been in contact with the NFL regarding the positive Covid-19 tests with the Tennessee Titans,” Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement. “We have been informed to proceed with our game preparations for Sunday’s game until we are informed otherwise.”
The NFL has completed three weeks of games, which have been played largely inside empty stadiums.
The Titans are among the few teams that will allow a handful of spectators. While their first home game on Sept. 20 against Jacksonville was a closed-door contest, this Sunday’s Steelers game — if played — will have about 7,000 people watching in person.
If the Titans-Steelers game has to be postponed, the NFL would have a viable option to reschedule. Tennessee is off on Sunday, Oct. 25, which is the same day as Steelers are set to play the Baltimore Ravens.
Both the Steelers and Ravens have bye weeks on the following Nov. 1, so the NFL could move this Sunday’s Titans-Steelers game to Oct. 25 and push Pittsburgh-Baltimore to the following weekend.