NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The NFL announced on Thursday the Tennessee Titans game against Pittsburgh originally set for Sunday has been postponed and will be rescheduled for later in the season.
“(The players) were shocked. They wanted to play. They were preparing. They understood and realized why the decision was made and will handle this like they do everything else,” Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said during his Thursday press conference.
The league announced an additional player and team personnel tested positive for COVID-19 after Wednesday’s test results were received. Five players and six employees have now tested positive.
“The decision to postpone the game was made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel,” the NFL said in a statement.
The NFL said the announcement of the new game date will be made shortly. On Wednesday, the league postponed the game until Monday or Tuesday. It was decided to reschedule for later after additional positive tests.
The Titans facility will remain closed and the team will continue to have no in-person activities until further notice.
The Titans announced Wednesday that outside linebacker Kamalei Correa was added to the team's Reserve/COVID-19 list. The team added three players, Defensive lineman DaQuan Jones and long snapper Beau Brinkley, along with tight end Tommy Hudson from the team's practice squad, to the list on Tuesday.
The new reserve list category was created for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons. If a player falls into either of these categories, his club is required to immediately place the placer on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Per agreed upon NFL-NFLPA policy, clubs are not permitted to comment on player’s medical status other than referring to roster status. Clubs may not disclose whether player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19.
Sunday’s game at Nissan Stadium was set to be the Titans’ first game before fans this season. Around 7,000 fans were expected to be in attendance.
The Titans ticket office said Thursday that all tickets purchased for this week’s postponed game would be valid for the rescheduled date.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper said on Thursday the postponement of the game would not affect the team’s ability to have fans at future games.
The Titans next game is scheduled for Oct. 11 at Nissan Stadium against Buffalo.
Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel said on Wednesday that he was not one of the team personnel who has tested positive for COVID-19. He refused to say if any other coaches might have tested positive, citing the NFL protocol on naming personnel who have tested positive.
General manager Jon Robinson has also tested negative, according to a social media post from his wife Jaimie on Wednesday.
Titans linebacker coach Shane Bowen missed Sunday’s game at Minnesota after testing positive for COVID-19. The test result was received on Saturday before the Titans left for Minnesota. Rookie offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Sept. 6.
Vrabel was questioned about whether the team got clearance to travel to Minnesota after Bowen's positive test was received Saturday morning.
"Very confident in the way we handled the situation and going forward," Vrabel said. "I don't have an opinion because I have to rely on the league and our doctors to make the protocols and us to do everything we can to follow them."
Currently NFL players and personnel are tested daily, except for game days. The Titans will do daily testing through at least Monday. There's no date set for when the team may return to Saint Thomas Sports Park.