Testing timeline: When will it end for the Titans?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Could this be the last one?

The Titans had a staffer test positive for COVID-19 in results that came back Sunday morning, prompting their building to be closed down the day after it reopened following an 11-day closure.


The Titans circle up around Mike Vrabel at Saturday's walk-through: Photo courtesy Titans via pool.

NFL Network reports the new positive is a coach. Did he contract the virus as part of the team's outbreak, despite an 11-day closure of the building, or did he get it elsewhere?

It's been a confusing time for the Titans.

"Definitely the fact that we had guys with no symptoms testing positive and we had guys with full blown symptoms getting consecutive negative tests on multiple days was really eye-opening," Ryan Tannehill said. "Just the fact of, we really don't know. So, we have to we have to treat everyone as if they have the virus.

"Unfortunately, really probably lost some faith in the testing system just through everything we've been through over the past week and a half, but we said that from the beginning that testing is not going to prevent the virus from being spread, it's the way we handle ourselves with all the protocols and handle ourselves outside the building as well, so it's been a rollercoaster for sure."

Let’s look at the timeline of when the Titans were together and how long the virus can take to show up in testing.

The Titans were last together as a team and a staff on the evening/night of Sunday, Sept. 27 as they flew back from Minneapolis after a win over the Vikings.

On Monday, Sept. 28, players were not allowed in team headquarters as per protocols this year for the day after a game. Staff was in the office to work.

Tuesday, Sept. 29 some staff and a few players were presumably into work, but the first batch of positive test results came in early and the league order to shut down the facility quickly followed.

We are 14 days removed from the last full team time together, 13 days away from the last full staff time together and 12 days away from any official time together. Sunday’s positive, from a Saturday test, was 11 days removed from the last official Titans’ get-together.

Per the Center for Disease Control: "The incubation period for COVID-19 is thought to extend to 14 days, with a median time of 4-5 days from exposure to symptoms onset.1-3 One study reported that 97.5% of persons with COVID-19 who develop symptoms will do so within 11.5 days of SARS-CoV-2 infection."

So if the new positive is fro the team's internal outbreak, it's at the backend of the incubation period. Could the team have another positive test or two very late in the incubation period? It would seem the odds are against it, but things have been coming up against the odds for them.

"The situation should have resolved itself by two weeks," Vanderbilt infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner said recently. "We should know exactly what the circumstances are. They are all being tested daily. We ought to see what the dimensions of this problem are and given all the interventions that are being put into place."

And, player-wise we know there was one get-together on Tuesday the 29th, and two on Wednesday the 30th.

An outdoor workout session is not a circumstance where the virus would typically be passed along. We do not know if those groups of subsets of those groups did more than workout outside together.

At any rate, in closing the facility the league wanted to separate everyone, and as has been covered thoroughly, a league source told me the team was told as headquarters was closed that there were to be “no in-person meetings, workouts or activities at the facility or elsewhere.”apple icon 114x114 precomposed

Players were not covert in their get-togethers so it seems clear there were communication issues.

But those gatherings on the 30th may reset that 14-day clock, and the team may not really be in the clear until tests are taken Wednesday, Oct. 14 and come back on the 15th.

Any positives after that would seem to be disconnected from the outbreak that seems to have started with Shane Bowen's entry into the NFL's COVID-19 protocol on Saturday, Sept. 26.


The Titans were likely with the staffer who just tested positive at the re-opened building on Saturday, and his positive may be linked back to Bowen.

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