Positive NFL COVID tests cause ripple effect, but Texans-Vikings game still on schedule

The Houston Texans and the Minnesota Vikings are still preparing for their regularly-scheduled Week 4 matchup on Sunday, after positive COVID-19 tests turned up in Tennessee.

The Vikings hosted the Titans on Sunday, who had four players and five staff members test positive after the game. On Tuesday, the NFL suspended all in-person activities for both teams on Tuesday as they further tested players and conducted contact tracing. With no Vikings players testing positive, Minnesota will resume team activities and return to their facility on Thursday.

"We've been told by the league to expect to play and that's what we're doing," head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien said Wednesday. "We're practicing. We just met. We're still meeting. We're going to practice Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and get ready to play the game on Sunday. But these are the things that every organization, not just us, are dealing with on a daily basis."

The Titans, however, will have their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers delayed to either Monday or Tuesday, the league announced Wednesday.

On Thursday, the NFL announced that the Steelers-Titans game would be rescheduled to later in the season when an additional Titans player and staff member tested positive.

It was the first instance games being affected by positive tests since the start of the 2020 season. The Texans had a COVID scare just hours before their game at Pittsburgh too, according to O'Brien. It's just one instance in a year where all teams must be prepared for positive cases at any point in a game week.

"So, we were in Pittsburgh," O'Brien said. "I don't mind talking about it. It's been a unique three days. We were in Pittsburgh. We were notified at, I think it was around midnight in Pittsburgh, playing the next day, that we had two members of our organization that were positive. So we then had to go to the Kinexon contact tracing to find out how many people they had been around. So we had to wake up several players at 5:00 a.m. to get tested, point of care testing. Then we found out that those two tests were false positives. I think this is a situation that's unprecedented, like I've said from the beginning."

The Texans plan to host limited fans at 20 percent capacity on Sunday (13,300). Kickoff against the Vikings is set for 12 noon CT on FOX and SportsRadio 610.

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