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Steelers-Titans game moved to Week 7 following coronavirus outbreak

The facade of Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans will host the Pittsburgh Steelers at Nissan Stadium on Oct. 25 after the game was postponed by a COVID-19 outbreak among the Titans.
(Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)

The Tennessee Titans now know when they will play the Pittsburgh Steelers after this weekend’s game was postponed amid a coronavirus outbreak.

Getting back into their own building depends on the results of continued testing. The Titans’ outbreak expanded Friday when two more players tested positive, pushing the team’s total to 14 within the past week.

The outbreak forced the NFL to postpone Tennessee’s game from Sunday to Oct. 25 in Week 7, originally the Titans’ bye week. Pittsburgh now will play Baltimore on Nov. 1 with the Ravens’ bye now pushed to Week 7 instead of Week 8, which had been the bye for both the Steelers and Ravens.

Officials from the NFL and the players union were in Nashville on Friday, meeting with the Titans and reviewing how the team was handling the matter. The league and union agreed to continue daily testing, including bye weeks, for the foreseeable future in a decision shared with teams Friday.

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A years-long NFL Films project built a massive database of crowd sounds from every stadium, not knowing that audio library would be so valuable in an age of empty venues and artificial noise.

Coach Mike Vrabel has said he is very confident that the Titans have followed league protocols precisely and that nobody was to blame for this outbreak during a pandemic.

“We continue to follow protocol from the NFL that was set forth, and that continues to change and adapt and adjust,” Vrabel said Thursday. “Whatever the NFL tells us that we’re required to do and we’re supposed to do as positive tests come in, that’s what we’ll do.”

The NFL postponed the Steelers-Titans game early in the week, at first saying it hoped they could play Monday or Tuesday. But another positive test result Thursday led to the postponement and Friday’s rescheduling.

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Then two additional positive test results were received Friday, a person told the Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity. Neither the NFL nor the Titans had announced the latest results. Each new positive test requires the team’s infectious control officer to track down everyone in contact with those people.

The Minnesota Vikings (0-3) again had no positive test results Friday, leaving them on target to visit Houston (0-3) on Sunday as scheduled after losing 31-30 to the Titans last week. The Viking returned to work and practice at their facility on Thursday.


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