AP Source: No New Positives Again For Titans, Patriots
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore warms up before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Seattle. For the second straight week the New England Patriots are heading into a game after having their preparations disrupted by a teammate contracting coronavirus. Last week it was Cam Newton. This week the Patriots' facility was closed for most of the week after reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore joined Newton on the reserve/COVID-19 list. (AP Photo/John Froschauer, File)
The Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots had no positive tests Saturday, and both teams will be allowed to go back to their facilities, a person familiar with the situation told Te Associated Press. The Titans will be returning for the first time since the NFL closed them down Sept. 29.
- Associated Press
- Last Updated: October 10, 2020, 23:03 IST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn.: The Titans are back to work at their facility for the first time since the NFL closed the building Sept. 29.
How the NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak occurred isn’t a topic the team is talking about, not until the NFL and NFL Players Association speak first.
We’ve been completely transparent with the NFL, the NFLPA throughout this entire process, and were going to wait for their summary before commenting further on any of those discussions, Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel said Saturday.
The Titans and the New England Patriots had no positive COVID-19 tests Saturday, allowing both teams to return to their facilities. The Patriots had not been at their facility the past three days since reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore’s test came back positive Wednesday.
Tennessee (3-0) hadn’t been together on a field since Sept. 27 when the Titans beat the Vikings 31-30 in Minnesota. The NFL rescheduled a second Tennessee game, pushing the Bills-Titans from Sunday to Tuesday night. The Patriots also have had consecutive games moved, and they host Denver on Monday.
The Titans’ outbreak reached 23, with 21 positive tests returned since Sept. 29.
Vrabel said the Titans have been transparent with both the NFL and the NFLPA during the review about how they followed protocols. Every player and coach was made available to talk with the officials running the investigation.
As a result, the Titans have moved 30 lockers from their locker room to their indoor practice field. Vrabel said the team made adjustments to the way meals are taken, and any in-person meetings among coaches will be held at the indoor field.
Vrabel said those who tested positive are doing well and the team might even get back some players who tested positive early in this outbreak for the game against Buffalo (4-0). Tennessee already had its game against Pittsburgh postponed, then rescheduled to Oct. 25.
Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill and safety Kevin Byard declined to comment when asked about player workouts last week after the NFL closed the Titans’ facility, saying they had been transparent with the review done by the NFL and union.
But Tannehill called it eye-opening” that some with no symptoms tested positive while others with full-blown symptoms had consecutive negative tests on multiple days.
It was a roller-coaster for sure, Tannehill said.
New England coach Bill Belichick said the Patriots won’t be making any decisions or long-range plans until they have more information. His plan was to get through Saturday with a practice planned to maximize their time back on a field. Their game with Denver was moved from Sunday to Monday.
One thing weve learned this year is that we all have to be able to adapt to changes and adjustments and make adjustments, so thats what were going to do,” Belichick said.
Tennessee now has gone without a positive test for the fourth time in six days with the latest results, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the NFL nor the Titans announced the latest results.
The NFL and union updated protocols for when players who test positive can return to play, which depends on whether the player experienced symptoms.
Neither Gilmore nor quarterback Cam Newton, both on the reserve/COVID-19 list, practiced Saturday. Belichick, speaking before practice, would not say whether either would play Monday.
The Jets scheduled a walk-through at their facility on Saturday. All players and coaches tested negative for COVID-19 after being sent home from their training facility Friday because of a presumptive positive coronavirus test for one player. Their game Sunday against Arizona will be played on time.
AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner and freelancer Gethin Coolbaugh contributed to this report.
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