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Timeline of the NFL COVID-19 outbreak — How optimistic assessments led to postponed video games

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A contemporary spherical of optimistic assessments have already precipitated two extra video games to be postponed and extra could possibly be coming because the NFL schedule continues to be shuffled as a result of coronavirus pandemic.

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

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

Contact tracing was initiated as quickly as optimistic assessments have been obtained, in response to Titans coach Mike Vrabel. Players and choose group workers put on a proximity recording gadget that tracks interplay with others who put on the gadget. Anyone who was in shut proximity to an individual who assessments optimistic is subjected to a number of assessments. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus incubation interval can last as long as 14 days. An contaminated particular person could be contagious as much as 72 hours earlier than they even start displaying signs.

While the Titans have been the primary group to be affected, they weren’t the final. Here is a timeline of how all the pieces has unfolded for the Titans and the NFL as extra groups are receiving optimistic assessments.

Thursday, Sept. 24: Titans defensive again Greg Mabin assessments optimistic. Mabin was faraway from the group facility after receiving a optimistic take a look at, in response to Vrabel. He was positioned instantly into the protocol.

Added Vrabel: “When he tested positive, he was removed from the building. He was quarantined, and those individuals that were close contacts with him were also retested and went through their protocol as well.”

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

“When you try players out, they go through a process of testing and quarantine before you work them out, and then when you work them out, you decide to sign them or not, and then they’re into the testing protocol,” Vrabel mentioned Thursday. “At that point in time, when he tested positive, we went through and followed the protocol and he was removed from the facility.”

Saturday, Sept. 26: Titans outdoors linebackers coach Shane Bowen assessments optimistic. The Titans obtained Bowen’s optimistic take a look at. Bowen did not make the journey to Minnesota when the Titans performed the Vikings.

“When we get the results early in the morning, Todd [Toriscelli, director of sports medicine] and his staff and Adrian [Dixon, assistant athletic trainer] begin the contact tracing. They do the follow-up testing and then we proceed from there with the protocol as it relates to any of the positives that would come up,” Vrabel mentioned Thursday. “There’s a POC test which happens, and we’re very confident that we’ve followed the guidelines with the protocol that the league and the players’ association have set forth as it relates to identifying those persons of close contact and by using the tracing devices.”

Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell was positioned on the reserve/COVID-19 listing. Contact tracing to different gamers and personnel members did not produce any optimistic 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 optimistic for the reason that Titans recreation.

Monday, Sept. 28: News breaks of Bowen’s optimistic take a look at. Vrabel confirmed that Bowen had a optimistic take a look at and did not make the journey to Minnesota. He mentioned that Bowen wasn’t with the group and that the Titans had adopted NFL/NFLPA procedures.

“I’d say we’ve followed all the protocols as it relates to COVID,” Vrabel mentioned. “We’re following the hundred memos that they’ve sent out verbatim.”

Titans’ optimistic assessments: one participant, one group personnel member

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

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

“We’ve been given a mandate to prepare as if the game is going to be played and played on time,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin mentioned.

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

Titans’ optimistic assessments: 4 gamers, six group personnel members

Wednesday, Sept. 30: Another Titan assessments optimistic. Outside linebacker Kamalei Correa was positioned on the reserve/COVID-19 listing. Vrabel was getting ready the group to play as early as Monday. According to Vrabel, the gamers who have been in want of therapy have been capable of enter the power to see the athletic coaching workers. Anyone who entered the constructing was required to put on a masks always.

Vrabel additionally mentioned that among the gamers who examined optimistic have been experiencing flu-like signs however that he anticipated that “they will feel better shortly.”

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

Titans’ optimistic assessments: 5 gamers, six group 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 in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, Oct. 1: Two extra Titans take a look at optimistic; NFL postpones Steelers vs. Titans. The Titans positioned cornerback Kristian Fulton on the reserve/COVID-19 listing. An extra unnamed group personnel member additionally examined optimistic.

According to a press release, the NFL’s resolution to maneuver the sport to a later date was made “to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel.”

Vrabel mentioned 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 group members continued testing whereas the group was on its bye week on account of the postponement.

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

“We had a squad meeting to inform the team that, in light of the two recent positive tests that we had, the NFL had made the smart and safe decision to postpone our game, and that we would be on a bye week starting now,” Vrabel mentioned. “[We] reminded them to not gather with each other, players and staff, until we can find a safe way to enter in back to our building … hopefully which would happen Monday or Tuesday, [and] we would then [begin] preparation against Buffalo.”

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

Titans’ optimistic assessments: six gamers, seven group personnel members

Friday, Oct. 2: Two extra Titans take a look at optimistic; NFL reschedules Steelers vs. Titans for Week 7. The Titans positioned vast receivers Adam Humphries and Cam Batson on the reserve/COVID-19 listing.

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

The NFL launched one other memo, this time outlining procedures in the course of the bye week and “testing cadence.” The assertion reminds gamers there’s a $50,00Zero positive for lacking a take a look at. A second missed take a look at ends in a one-game suspension.

Any participant who misses a day by day take a look at with out authorization in the course of the bye week will need to have 5 detrimental PCR assessments (taken 24 hours aside) earlier than reentering a group facility.

Titans’ optimistic assessments: eight gamers, seven group personnel members

Saturday, Oct. 3: Multiple NFL optimistic assessments. The Titans obtained one other optimistic take a look at for a participant — defensive finish Jeffery Simmons, their 2019 first-rounder — and two for group personnel members.

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

Chiefs apply squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu additionally examined optimistic for the coronavirus, in response to a supply.

Titans’ optimistic assessments: 9 gamers, 9 group personnel members

Sunday, Oct. 4: Two extra Titans obtain optimistic assessments. One participant and one member of group personnel examined optimistic; the Titans mentioned they might add Khari Blasingame to the reserve/COVID-19 listing on Monday. Sunday marked the sixth consecutive day a Titans participant examined optimistic. The NFL and the NFL Players Association 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 group actions so they may get a greater concept of the foundation of the outbreak, in response to sources.

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

A New Orleans Saints participant had a optimistic COVID-19 take a look at Saturday, however a retest came back negative and that contact tracing discovered detrimental assessments amongst these gamers as nicely.

Titans’ optimistic assessments: 10 gamers, 10 group personnel members

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

The NFL releases a memo to all groups to reemphasize taking precautions by sustaining bodily distancing, sporting face coverings and working towards 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 outdoors the constructing and implements a league-wide video monitoring system to make sure compliance. According to the memo, groups present in violation of protocol that ends in an outbreak that requires an adjustment to the schedule are topic to monetary and aggressive self-discipline that may embody lack of draft picks and forfeiture of a recreation.

All assessments given to Chiefs gamers on Monday morning got here again detrimental. The Patriots obtain in a single day PCR take a look at outcomes that got here again detrimental and fly to Kansas City to face the Chiefs as scheduled.

Tuesday, Oct. 6: Titans obtain zero optimistic assessments in consecutive days. The Titans had all assessments come again detrimental. Vrabel had digital conferences with the gamers and coaches within the morning. Vrabel mentioned he was hopeful the group would be capable of return to its facility on Wednesday if no extra optimistic assessments have been obtained. Vrabel additionally mentioned the gamers who examined optimistic took a step in the correct course however did not anticipate them coming again this week.

According to Vrabel, not one of the gamers who have been in want of therapy have been capable of work with the athletic trainers.

“We stayed in contact with all the players that would require treatment,” Vrabel mentioned. “A lot of them were sent home with stuff. Really confident in Todd [Toriscelli] and what he can do for our players to get them to return, and there were some moving parts as it related to having guys, injured guys, in the building, and then at some point in time we decided here in the last couple of days to keep those guys away and again, hopeful tomorrow we’ll be able to get those guys back into the training room.”

The Patriots (apply squad defensive deal with Bill Murray) and Raiders (defensive deal with Maurice Hurst) each positioned gamers on the reserve/COVID-19 listing.

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

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Adam Schefter studies {that a} Titans assistant coach examined optimistic for COVID-19, inflicting the group to quickly shut its facility, and provides that Tennessee’s Week 5 recreation vs. Buffalo on Tuesday is in query.

Wednesday, Oct. 7: Two Titans gamers take a look at optimistic, Patriots cornerbackStephon Gilmore assessments optimistic. The Titans positioned WR Corey Davis on the reserve/COVID-19 listing. After having two players test positive following two positive-free days, the Titans will not open their facility. They’ll now want two extra days of consecutive detrimental assessments earlier than the NFL can contemplate permitting them to return to the constructing.

Reports surfaced a group of Titans players held a workout on Sept. 30 at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville. Questions arose relating to 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 outdoors of the power.

After Gilmore, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, tested positive, the Patriots have three gamers who’ve optimistic assessments since Saturday and can work remotely. New England’s recreation in opposition to the Denver Broncos could possibly be moved. The Chiefs obtained no optimistic assessments on Wednesday after enjoying the Patriots on Monday evening. They are capable of apply in preparation for his or her recreation in opposition to the Raiders on Sunday.

Titans’ optimistic assessments: 12 gamers, 10 group personnel members

Thursday, Oct. 8: Another optimistic Titans take a look at; More video games postponed. In addition to the brand new optimistic take a look at, the Titans’ inconclusive take a look at from Wednesday was confirmed to be optimistic. The Titans positioned TE MyCole Pruitt and apply squad DB Breon Borders on the reserve/COVID-19 listing. Also, apply squad TE Tommy Hudson, who can also be on reserve/COVID-19 listing, 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 Bills and Titans gamers instructed her Sunday’s recreation could be moved to Tuesday. The Bills have a recreation in opposition to the Chiefs the next Thursday, which was moved to Sunday.

Regarding 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, that means that the gamers’ casual exercises the next day have been unauthorized and a violation of the NFL’s virus-related protocols. Multiple Titans gamers, nevertheless, 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 detrimental.

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

Titans’ optimistic assessments: 13 gamers, 10 group personnel members

Friday, Oct. 9: Titans obtain zero optimistic assessments, Jets obtain a scare. All of the assessments got here again detrimental for the Titans.

After a presumptive optimistic take a look at by a Jets participant, the group despatched all gamers and coaches dwelling. The facility was shut down because the group re-ran the take a look at 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 optimistic. The Arizona Cardinals boarded their airplane for his or her recreation in opposition to the Jets on Sunday.

Saturday, Oct. 10: Another day of detrimental assessments for Titans prompts return to their facility. The Titans had all detrimental assessments for the second consecutive day. The facility was reopened for the primary time since Sept. 29. Practice was moved indoors on account of inclement climate.

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

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

A Chicago Bears apply squad participant assessments optimistic.

One of the Chiefs’ power and conditioning coaches take a look at optimistic. Contact tracing begins for each groups.

Sunday, Oct. 11: Patriots, Titans obtain optimistic assessments; two Broncos video games postponed. The Patriots obtained a optimistic take a look at and shut their constructing down whereas additional testing was performed. New England’s Week 5 recreation in opposition to the Denver Broncos was moved to subsequent Sunday. The Broncos have been imagined to play Miami subsequent Sunday however that recreation will probably be rescheduled.

The Titans obtained a optimistic take a look at from a workers member and shut down their facility. They activated DL DaQuan Jones and LS Beau Brinkley from the reserve/COVID-19 listing. Both gamers have been positioned on the listing on Sept. 29.

Titans’ optimistic assessments: 13 gamers, 11 group personnel members

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