The NFL's COVID rollercoaster took another twirling, whirling, swirling turn today when the Patriots game against the Broncos was postponed because of an additional positive COVID test on the Patriots. There was also another positive test out of Tennessee today, where the restless Titans are still scheduled to play their first game in over two weeks on Tuesday.
No one has had to deal with more COVID issues than the Titans. Their Week 4 game against the Steelers was postponed because of an outbreak amongst their players and coaches and their Week 5 game against the Bills was pushed back to Tuesday because of a slow trickle of positives that continued to come out of their facility, including a new one today. If anyone knows the topsy-turvy nature of COVID testing and the accompanying anxiety that comes with the unknown it's them.
Enter starting Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who made a statement about the testing on Saturday that is going viral today.
There are two sentences that stand out.
"We really have to treat everyone as if they have the virus. "
"Probably lost some faith in the testing system just through everything we've been thought over the past week and a half. "
The Titans' first positive test was September 24. They closed their facility on September 29 after more players and staff tested positive. They reopened their facility for the first time yesterday. It's now October 11 and there's not only an additional positive result 18 days later, but the Titans themselves don't know who has it and don't have faith in the test results.
Part of that is their fault. They held unauthorized group practices at a nearby school after the first positives came out. That led to a larger outbreak which put this week's game against the Bills in jeopardy. Right now they're communicating with the league about next steps, but that game hasn't been postponed yet.
This quote from Tannehill really shows how tenuous this whole situation is. Even with top-notch, instant-result testing, players and coaches don't actually know for a fact they don't have the virus. It's scary to think about, but clearly even scarier to live through.