Devin McCourty Says Titans' COVID-19 Outbreak a 'Wake-Up Call' For Rest of NFL

Devon Clements

On Tuesday, all eyes turn towards the Tennessee Titans, who have the first COVID-19 outbreak in an NFL locker room in 2020. 

It was reported that four Titans players and five personnel tested positive for COVID-19, with outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen being the first to test positive over the weekend in Tennessee. 

While the league has pushed back the Titans' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers to Monday to ensure all players and personnel test negative beforehand, the rest of the league is taking note of what's happening in Tennessee, and for New England, they are taking it as a bit of a wake-up call. 

"What happened in Tennessee, although it kind of shocks us, it's not really surprising," Patriots captain and safety Devin McCourty said in a video conference call on Wednesday with the media. "We all knew at some point we might get some positive tests, but it's hard once you get rolling and no positive tests Week 1, no positive tests Week 2, so it's like 'man, we got this,' and I think this is just a little shocker but also a wake-up call like, hey, the virus is still here and it will affect any and everybody and it doesn't care that we're trying to play football."

The Patriots are one of several teams that has yet to have anyone in football operations test positive for COVID-19 this season. But that doesn't leave room for complacency. 

"We continue to monitor and do that, but yeah, it’s obviously a good reminder for all of us of the situation that we’re in," head coach Bill Belichick said of the Titans' situation. "Regardless of what we have or haven’t done up to this point, it really is about what we do each day going forward, making the right decisions and controlling what we can control. So, we’ll try to continue to do that."

So far, its been impressive how the NFL and each specific organization has managed to keep positive tests low despite not playing out the season in a bubble format like the NBA. Testing players each day and taking precautionary measures outside the facilities has helped with that. 

But with flu season right around the corner and positive tests expected to spike again soon around the country, Tennessee's outbreak this week is a brutal reminder that the pandemic is far from over. 

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Comments (1)
No. 1-1
Sarah Jacobs
Sarah Jacobs

As it should be... with no bubble it's actually a little surprising the league has had so few cases thus far. I wonder if this will prompt any changes moving forward.