There was hope the Steelers and Titans would be able to play in Week 4. The hope was if the game was pushed back until Monday, or even Tuesday, they would be able to have the game without hurting any team’s preparation for Week 5.
Even this morning it looked as if the NFL and CBS were planning on having the game being played on Monday on national television.
That was all before the Titans received their latest round of COVID-19 test results on Thursday. More positive tests, one player and one personnel member, forced the NFL to push the game back to another week in the season.
This is the official statement from the NFL:
What this means for the Steelers, the Titans, and their scheduled bye week has yet to be determined. This is the first game of the season which will be impacted by COVID-19, and the NFL will be setting a precedent with how they handle this game.
Nonetheless, more teams will be impacted by this decision than just the Steelers and Titans. Teams’ schedules will all be altered to accommodate the change in schedules. Unlike Major League Baseball, who can turn multiple games during the week into a double header to make up games, the NFL will have to seriously consider how they will handle this moving forward.
Will the NFL add a week to the end of the season for games affected by Covid? Will they shuffle around the schedule since right now it is only one game being affected? One possible schedule changed was highlighted by BTSC’s Dave Schofield on Tuesday when the problem first arose:
The Steelers now have their bye in Week 4
If the NFL needs to postpone this week’s game, there is a way to make it work by only affecting one other NFL franchise. First, the Steelers and Titans do not have the same bye week so simply moving the game there is not an option. The Titans bye comes in Week 7 while the Steelers bye occurs in Week 8. The Steelers Week 7 opponent is the Baltimore Ravens, who just so also happen to have a bye in Week 8 as well. It is possible the Steelers could face the Titans in Week 7 instead of the Ravens and move their matchup in Baltimore to the following week. This means the Steelers and Titans would both have byes this coming week in Week 4 and the Ravens bye week would simply be shifted up from Week 8 to Week 7.
Stay tuned to BTSC for further updates as the Steelers new schedule becomes available.
For the latest on this story, check out the breaking news podcast where we lay out all scenarios below: