NFL extends, tightens daily coronavirus testing amid Titans outbreak


The NFL is implementing stricter coronavirus measures in the wake of the first team outbreak of the 2020 season.

The league on Friday reportedly informed teams of new measures aimed at preventing outbreaks like the one presently affecting the Tennessee Titans, which prompted the postponement of the Titans' Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

A memo from the NFL to all 32 teams informed them that an agreement had been reached with the players association on extending daily testing throughout the regular season -- as well as daily testing and travel restrictions for coaches, players and other team personnel during bye weeks.

All players and team employees are expected to remain in their club cities during their bye weeks under the new rules.

A missed test during a bye week would result in a $50,000 fine, the memo said, while a second missed test would lead to a one-game suspension without pay. Any further missed tests would be met with "additional discipline."

Any team personnel who misses a test during a bye week must then test negative five times in 24 hours before they are cleared to return to their team.

The Titans' outbreak affected at least 13 people in the organization -- seven players and six other team personnel -- after two more players tested positive on Friday.

Reports have been scant as to how the virus spread within the Titans locker room, but the NFLPA was reportedly set to investigate the episode, according to Pro Football Talk. Titans coach Mike Vrabel has declined to point fingers as to what happened, the report said.

The Titans' game against the Steelers on Sunday was pushed back, and their Week 5 game against the Buffalo Bills was also said to be in jeopardy depending on how the outbreak transpires throughout the week.

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