The NFL postponed the Pittsburgh Steelers-Tennessee Titans game set for Nashville on Sunday after several players on the Titans tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Wednesday.
The NFL said it needs more days for additional testing and hopes to reschedule the game for Monday or Tuesday.
“We are preparing to play a football game now as early as Monday,” Tennessee Coach Mike Vrabel told reporters on Wednesday. “I’m confident the league will allow us time to practice, to get some good practice in, to get on the field and then move forward with the game.”
The NFL and its players union revealed on Tuesday that three players and five staffers with the Titans had tested positive for coronavirus, forcing Tennessee and the Minnesota Vikings to call off practice.
Both Tennessee and the Minnesota Vikings, who hosted the Titans on Sunday in Minneapolis, had suspended all “in-person club activities,” according to the joint statement.
The Steelers and Titans are two of the NFL’s seven undefeated teams heading into the season’s fourth weekend of competition.
With Tennessee’s practice facility now closed until further notice, it wasn’t immediately clear when the Titans would be allowed to prepare as a unit for the Steelers game.
In the meantime, Vrabel said he hopes his players will study game film and find ways, individually, to stay in physical shape.
“The players will have a break. Some will get treatment, some will hopefully work out, some will eat lunch, some will watch soap operas, I don’t know,” he said.
“But we have to hold each other accountable, I think, to do some sort of physical activity and be ready to go.”
So far during this young NFL season, nearly all games have been played 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 Steelers game — if played — will have about 7,000 people watching in person.