Over the last 24 hours, there has been a lot of speculation over the status of the Steelers upcoming game this week with the Tennessee Titans. With three Titans’ players and five team personnel testing positive for COVID-19 in results obtained Tuesday from Monday’s testing, along with an additional positive test of a player on Wednesday, it is unclear exactly how the NFL will be able to proceed with the upcoming game.
Apparently, the league has come to at least one part of the decision. In a statement the NFL via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tennessee Titans scheduled for 1 PM this Sunday will be postponed. The exact dates and time of the game is yet to be determined.
With the Titans facility reportedly shut down until at least Saturday and the team performing their practices virtually, the issue of competitive advantage is one the NFL cannot deny. But as Ben Roethlisberger spoke of in his press conference on Wednesday morning, these issues were something all teams knew were a possibility going into the season. This per Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network:
#Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger careful not to be ho-hum abt potential practice time imbalance this week vs #Titans, but does say: “We were made aware of those possibilities (in camp) and so I don’t want to say it is what it is, but that’s why the plan was put in place.”— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) September 30, 2020
More importantly, the issue of safety and containment to keep the possible spread of the disease at a minimum is the NFL’s first concern. By postponing the game for at least one day, the NFL buys a little more time to figure out how much of an outbreak is going on with the Titans and if playing a game is something that can be done safely.
There are several options for the league moving forward which were outlined at BTSC on Tuesday. The game between the Steelers and Titans could be played on Monday or possibly even Tuesday and still be considered a Week 4 matchup. Obviously, this puts the preparation for the Steelers Week 5 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on a condensed schedule even by moving to Monday, let alone Tuesday. If the game must be postponed further, it would most likely have to do with both teams shifting their bye weeks.
Stay tuned to be BTSC has more information on the Steelers game with the Tennessee Titans becomes available.
For what we know now, and information from Titans’ head coach Mike Vrabel, check out the breaking news podcast below: