One thing the NFL takes pride in trying at all costs to avoid is a competitive imbalance. Well, they now have one. The Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers will have an unscheduled bye week, courtesy of COVID-19, which canceled the game that had originally been re-scheduled. The two teams will not play in Week Four, and the NFL will reschedule it for later in the season.
The league pulled the plug on play when another Titans’ player and additional personnel member tested positive for COVID on Thursday, upping the team total to 11 positive tests for the week.
Not only is the game canceled, but the team’s practice facility will remain in lockdown. That means no practice, no film study, no meetings and no chance to improve on their perfect 3-0 record.
“The decision to postpone the game was made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel,” the NFL said in a statement. “The Titans facility will remain closed and the team will continue to have no in-person activities until further notice.”
There are all kinds of residual effects and collateral damage of canceling a game in the middle of the season. For the Steelers, not only did they lose out on playing this weekend, but they can kiss their bye week away later when they might need it more. Tight end Eric Ebron is especially ticked off because he revealed in a tweet that he’s going to miss a family event.
“I’m confused on how this became our problem. My son’s birthday party was bye week, now I’m missing his birthday, and bad enough, I don’t even see my kids. S— sucks.”