NFL players tested for coronavirus on Tuesday morning. News of the results was broken by ESPN and in a series of tweets by reporter Dianna Russini. Members of the Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, and Las Vegas Raiders organizations were among the reported wave of COVID-19 results. The news affects the league's scheduling as pro football is set to enter Week 5 of its 2020 season.
The news follows a week in which two games from the NFL schedule were postponed due to COVID-19. The Patriots game against the Kansas City Chiefs was pushed to a Monday night game on CBS on October 5. The Titans game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was moved from September 27 to October 25.
Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was identified by ESPN as having a positive test result. The franchise's new quarterback, Cam Newton, was the organization's initial positive test last week.
Tuesday's news comes after Titans players received negative results on Monday. The team was scheduled to play against the Buffalo Bills on October 11. Buffalo is scheduled to play the Chiefs just four days later. Russini indicated on Twitter that the Nashville team would not be able to return to their practice facility today, as had originally been expected by the NFL."Put the players that test positive in a super cuomo cluster bubble and keep adding new cases to this bubble to avoid any further cluster spreading," said one Twitter user in response to Russini.
"The NFL needs to postpone and shut down every team that has a positive test to a player or coach for 7 days from first positive test. As we all continue to learn you can get a positive test 5-7 days after exposure," another remarked on Twitter.
"why am i the only one who doesn't seem surprised by this? u keep testing these guys again w/ out waiting 2 weeks... no wonder why this is happening," an additional fan tweeted.
The NFL is the only sports league not to use a bubble environment in 2020. The NHL and NBA finished their 2020 regular seasons in isolated locations. The NHL recently concluded the Stanley Cup playoffs without a coronavirus spread. The NBA has yet to encounter a COVID-19 incident. The final round of the NBA postseason is currently underway in Orlando, Florida.
MLB recently adopted the format for the final rounds of the 2020 postseason. The baseball league is currently finishing their year at the home ballparks of the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, and Houston Astros.