It’s business as usual for the Pittsburgh Steelers in what may be one of the more unusual weeks of the 2020 season. On Tuesday, it was revealed that the Tennessee Titans — Pittsburgh’s Week 4 opponent — had three players and five personnel members test positive for COVID-19. That has forced the club to shut down the facility reportedly until Saturday, which doesn’t give that much turnaround time prior to their Week 4 game with the Steelers on Sunday in Nashville.
While the news of this outbreak within the Titans organization has sparked discussions about potentially moving this contest, coach Mike Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday evening that the Steelers have “been given a mandate [by the NFL] to prepare to play as if the game is on time, and we’re going to prepare with that mentality.”
Tomlin added that the Steelers have not been directly involved in any discussions with the league to potentially move the game to Week 8 — Pittsburgh’s current bye week — or to Monday or Tuesday. Those talks are ongoing, but Tomlin is operating under the assumption that the game will be played on Sunday and will be treating Wednesday as he would in any other week in the season.
“We’re going to trust the medical experts,” he said when asked about his level of concern traveling to Tennessee. “If they deem it safe for us to proceed, we’re going to go down and play and play to win.”
Along with the Titans, the Minnesota Vikings — Tennessee’s Week 3 opponent — have also suspended any in-person club activates on Tuesday in an abundance of caution. NFL commissioner also released a memo to teams on Tuesday briefing them on the situation, saying that all players and staff members who tested positive have been isolated and are being carefully monitored. The league is also emphasizing to teams to comb over their own COVID-19 protocols.
If the game is played as regularly scheduled, it should be quite the head-to-head matchup as both the Titans and Steelers are undefeated through three games this season.