Tennessee cornerback Kristian Fulton has been placed on the team’s COVID-19 reserve list. There are now 13 total positive tests among players and staff. David Berding/Associated Press

Two additional Tennessee Titans players tested positive for the novel coronavirus in testing results returned Friday, creating concerns for some within the sport that the team’s outbreak could be an issue beyond this week and threaten more than the one game already postponed.

The two positive tests, in results returned Friday from testing conducted Thursday, were confirmed by two people familiar with the situation. One of those people, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, said the growing number of positive tests for the Titans is becoming worrisome as a potential issue beyond this week.

The two new positive tests mean that 13 members of the Titans organization have tested positive this week, including seven players and six team staffers. The NFL on Thursday postponed the Titans’ scheduled game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Nashville until Oct. 25 in Week 7, forcing the Steelers into their unplanned bye. Pittsburgh now will play Baltimore on Nov. 1 with the Ravens’ bye now pushed to Week 7 instead of Week 8, which had been the bye for both teams.

The Titans next are scheduled to play Oct. 11 against the Buffalo Bills in Nashville.

Titans Coach Mike Vrabel said Thursday that he was hopeful his team would be permitted back into its facility early next week under enhanced health and safety protocols. But the NFL has not specified when the Titans’ facility will reopen, tying that decision to testing results.

“I think we’re resolved in our focus to move forward to try to continue to do everything we can do to make where the players come to work every day and our staff comes to work every day as safe as possible, to make sure that our behavior is in line with what we would expect as we work our way through the season,” Vrabel said in a video news conference Thursday.

The facilities of the Titans and Minnesota Vikings, who played the Titans on Sunday in Minneapolis, were closed Tuesday after the first set of positive test results for the Titans. The Titans have had at least one positive test result each day this week.

The Vikings had no positive tests in the results returned Friday, according to a person familiar with the situation. They’ve had no positive tests this week and reopened their facility Thursday under the enhanced protocols sent by the league to teams in a memo. According to Thursday’s memo, those protocols apply to any team suffering an outbreak or exposed to one.

“There is one simple rule to remember: act as if every person you come in contact with has a COVID infection and take appropriate precautions,” Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, and Jeff Miller, a the league’s executive vice president of communications, public affairs and policy, wrote in the memo.

The NFL referred to the enhanced protocols outlined in Thursday’s memo as “Post Exposure COVID Procedures.”

The measures include: daily point-of-care testing for players, coaches and some team staffers in addition to their regular daily testing, including on game days; virtual-only team meetings; mandatory wearing of masks by players and staffers on the practice field (players can opt for helmets with face shields).

Players also should wear gloves on the field, according to the memo, with the lone exception being a quarterback’s throwing hand. Team and player gatherings away from the facility are prohibited.

Vrabel had said earlier Thursday that he’d told Titans players not to gather away from the facility.

The Titans placed cornerback Kristian Fulton on their COVID-19 reserve list Thursday after previously adding linebacker Kamalei Correa, defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and practice-squad tight end Tommy Hudson this week. That list can be used for players who test positive or for those found through contact tracing to have been exposed.

The postponement of the Titans-Steelers game beyond Week 4 of the season came after an initial postponement in which the NFL said the game would be played Monday or Tuesday. That changed after further positive test results Thursday from testing performed Wednesday.

The NFL has not said when the game will be played. One possibility is having the Titans and Steelers play in Week 7, originally the Titans’ bye week. Under that scenario, the Steelers’ Week 7 game in Baltimore would be moved to Week 8, a scheduled bye week for the Steelers and Ravens. The unintended Week 4 bye for the Titans and Steelers mean they would play each of the final 13 weeks in the 17-week regular season.

Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin was asked during a video news conference Thursday about his team playing 13 games in 13 weeks and said: “We do not care.”

The NFL plans for the Vikings’ game against the Texans in Houston to be played as scheduled Sunday.

The postponements to the Titans-Steelers game are the first changes to the 2020 regular season schedule as the NFL operates during the pandemic with teams practicing in their own facilities and playing home games in their own stadiums.

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