After having one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the National Football League in October, the Tennessee Titans this week have more things to prepare for than just the Baltimore Ravens.
ESPN’s Adam Shefter reported Wednesday that a Titans trainer had tested positive for COVID. For the time being, the team’s facilities are still open as contact tracing is being conducted throughout the organization.
Relatedly, there have been no further updates on the availability of Stephen Gostkowski, who had to sit out Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans due to COVID. If nothing changes, Sam Sloman will again kick for the two-tone blue. Gostkowski was originally placed on the team’s COVID list on Dec. 28.
“I don’t think you can live in fear, live in worry,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “You try to be smart. Make sure that we’re following the protocols: mask on, keeping our distance, making sure that we’re socially distanced within the building as much as possible.”
The Titans aren’t the only ones dealing with COVID concerns ahead of their wildcard matchup: The Cleveland Browns had three coaches and two players test positive Tuesday. Head Coach Kevin Stefanski was among those who tested positive, as were Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge. The Browns ended an 18-year playoff drought by finishing this season with an 11-5 record.
During the Titans’ October COVID outbreak, 24 staff members and 13 players tested positive. The league also levied a heavy $350,000 fine on the franchise after a few players broke gathering protocols.
“We are trying to be conscious of every situation we put ourselves in,” Tannehill said. “You hate to see anybody test positive. But at the end of the day, we’re trying to do everything we can to stay healthy and prepare to win on Sunday.”