On Tuesday, news broke that three Tennessee Titans players and five personnel members had tested positive for COVID-19, and now Sunday’s Titans-Steelers game is being postponed.
The Titans announced Tuesday that they were shutting down their facilities until Saturday after the positive tests. It put the team in an unlikely scenario for a quick turnaround to play a Sunday game.
The NFL schedule doesn’t have built-in weeks for postponements, so rescheduling a game isn’t easy. The Titans have a bye in Week 7 and the Steelers' bye is in Week 8, but their game is expected to be moved back only a day or two.
NFL Network reported that the game will be played Monday or Tuesday. This is the best-case scenario to avoid a major shift in schedules.
While Monday games are played weekly, a Tuesday game would be uncommon. Eagles fans might remember when a snowstorm in 2010 moved a Week 16 game against the Vikings from Saturday to Tuesday. That was the first Tuesday game in the NFL since 1946.
It’s good that the NFL is moving fast, but it will be intriguing to hear the NFLPA’s thoughts. Players have long complained about the quick turnaround of playing a Thursday night football game, so a move to Tuesday would result in a shorter week by two days.
Since Tuesday, a fourth Titans player has tested positive for COVID-19.
Scheduling on Monday or Tuesday will depend on testing, but it appears Monday would be best for player recovery next week, but Tuesday is probably the safer option in terms of giving the four COVID-19 positive players a chance to play.
Serena Williams withdraws from French Open
Serena Williams' pursuit of a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title has taken another detour. Williams withdrew from the French Open because of an Achilles injury.
She suffered the injury three weeks ago in her semifinal loss against Victoria Azarenka at the U.S. Open.
“I really wanted to give an effort here," Williams said. "It’s my Achilles that didn’t have enough time to properly heal after the Open. I was able to get it somewhat better, but just looking long-term in this tournament — will I be able to get through enough matches? For me, I don’t think I could. Struggling to walk, so that’s kind of a telltale sign I should try to recover.”
It’s a bad-timing injury for Serena. If 2020 wasn’t already weird enough, it will be the first year Williams hasn’t reached a Grand Slam final since 2006. Williams was beaten in the third round of the Australian Open and the semifinals at the U.S. Open. Wimbledon was canceled because of COVID-19.
Williams says she plans to recover for the remainder of 2020. She remains one Grand Slam win behind Margaret Court’s record of 24 all-time major championships. Williams' last win was in 2017 at the Australian Open.
NFL willing to suspend players and forfeit draft picks for coaches not wearing masks
The NFL sent a message by fining four head coaches $100,000 each for not wearing masks during games. Now the league is sending an even stronger one.
ESPN reported that a memo was sent to coaches, general managers, and executives about future punishment for not wearing masks.
The memo comes directly after nine total players and personnel members with the Titans tested positive for COVID-19. Those positive tests resulted in the Vikings and Titans shutting down their facilities.
The NFL is sending a strict message that it wants to avoid having another potential breakout in an organization.