The NFL announced earlier in the day the Titans’ game against Pittsburgh Steelers will not be held during Week 4 after all. On Wednesday, the league indicated it hoped to move the game from Sunday to Monday or Tuesday.
“I am very worried because we’re only basically going into our fourth week of the season and we’re already postponing a game. It’s very concerning,” Rosenhaus said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “This has got to be a huge wakeup call for the NFL. … This could happen to any team, any week.”
The NFL’s decision to postpone the game came after a pair of additional Covid-19 cases on the Titans, bringing the number of players and personnel members who tested positive in the last week to 12.
“As Dr. [Allen] Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, has repeatedly said, as long as the pandemic is endemic in our society there will be positive tests among staff and players. This was not unexpected,” a league spokesperson told CNBC in an email. “These positive tests further underscore the need to remain diligent in implementing all of our comprehensive health and safety protocols to the fullest extent.”
Rosenhaus said he believes the NFL’s safety and coronavirus testing protocols are adequate, and he commended the league for its response to coaches who failed to wear face coverings during games. It has doled out nearly $2 million in fines to coaches and their teams.
“We’re dealing with a pandemic. I’m not sure where you can point the finger except at everyone that’s associated with the NFL, me as agent as well, players, coaches, administrators,” he said. “Everyone has to be vigilant, has to follow the protocols, has to be careful.”
Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Tennessee Titans calls signals at the line of scrimmage during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Wesley Hitt | Getty Images
After hearing the news about the Titans, Rosenhaus said he sent out a communication to all of his NFL clients, reminding them to be mindful and to “stay on top of this situation because this could affect everyone’s livelihood moving forward.”
The NFL is not playing its season using the so-called “bubble” strategy that was adopted by professional sports leagues such as the NBA and WNBA. Both basketball leagues are now in their championship series in their respective bubbles in Florida.
MLB, which also did not use a bubble for its regular season, had multiple games postponed as a result of Covid-19 outbreaks on teams. The baseball league is adopting its own bubble strategy for the playoffs and World Series, hoping to minimize travel and reduce risk of outbreaks.
The NFL has not announced the rescheduled date for the Titans-Steelers game. But Rosenhaus emphasized the gravity behind a game having to be moved due to the coronavirus, noting the league was able to carry out its college draft virtually this spring, complete free agency and hold its training camp. “This hits hard. They’re not playing a game this week,” he said.
“I think whoever was confident going into this has to be very shaken,” Rosenhaus added. “You pray for a speedy recovery for anyone that’s been affected by this terrible illness, but anyone that has taken this lightly or has been cavalier … man, they’re thinking differently right now.”
– CNBC’s Jabari Young contributed to this story.
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