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story.lead_photo.caption Members of the Tennessee Titans take part in the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. The NFL says the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings are suspending in-person activities after the Titans had three players test positive for the coronavirus, along with five other personnel. The league says both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the players’ union on tracing contacts, more testing and monitoring developments. The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans won't be back inside their building until Saturday at the earliest because of eight positive tests for covid-19, the first outbreak to hit the NFL as it tries to play a full schedule amid the pandemic.

Tennessee is scheduled to host Pittsburgh in a matchup of two of the league's seven remaining undefeated teams on Sunday, and Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin said his team has been "given a mandate" to prepare as if the game will be played on time -- even if the Titans are unable to practice.

"We're going to trust the medical experts," Tomlin said. "If they deem it safe for us to proceed, we're going to go down there with the intention of playing and playing to win."

Tennessee suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL said three Titans players and five personnel tested positive for the virus. The NFL had played three weeks without a covid-19 outbreak. Now, the Titans will become the first significant in-season test of the league's virus protocols.

The Minnesota Vikings also suspended in-person activities Tuesday after the Titans' test results. The Titans beat the Vikings 31-30 in Minneapolis on Sunday.

"Both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the NFLPA, including our infectious disease experts, to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments," the league said in a statement.

The Titans placed a pair of key players, defensive captain and lineman DaQuan Jones and long snapper Beau Brinkley, on the reserve/covid-19 list later Tuesday.

The Vikings released a statement saying they had not received any positive results from their testing after Sunday's game, and they followed NFL protocol by closing their facility immediately. The Minnesota complex will remain closed at least through today.

Minnesota is scheduled to visit Houston (0-3) on Sunday.

"All decisions will be made with health and safety as our primary consideration," the NFL said. "We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available."

If they kick off Sunday, the Titans will have spent three days in virtual, video meetings with possibly only a walk-through Saturday. The prospect of a team facing a competitive disadvantage because of the virus was not a surprise to Tomlin.

"Once we left the station and we got all teams into a training camp-like setting, we as a collective -- meaning the National Football League -- acknowledged that this covid environment could be challenging to that," Tomlin said. "So we all proceeded with that understanding."

Titans Coach Mike Vrabel is scheduled to talk to reporters today.

Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to teams Tuesday noting the protocols set up by the league and the NFLPA are being followed. Those who tested positive will be isolated, monitored and offered medical care, and family members also are offered testing. Officials and others who worked the game will be tested.

Goodell asked teams to look at what they've done to limit contact, especially when traveling and within position groups, and to review how they bring in players for tryouts. He noted the test results affirm the need to follow health and safety protocols "to the fullest extent."

The NFL has been fining coaches and teams when coaches have violated league rules requiring face coverings during games.

The Titans beat the Vikings in Minneapolis without outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen, who did not travel with the team after a virus test result Saturday. Vrabel said Monday that Bowen was not with the team.

Rookie offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson, the Titans' top draft pick out of Georgia, also has been on the reserve/covid-19 list since Sept. 6.

The Titans, like other NFL teams, use devices that detect whenever someone is within 6 feet of another device and records how long they are that close together. That means the league has data on everyone's interactions from inside the team headquarters to the practice field, an airplane, inside a hotel and at a stadium.

That information should help the Titans and the infectious disease experts know which players and coaches were at risk. The closure of Tennessee's facility should also help limit further spread of the virus.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, right, talks with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after a 28-21 win over the Houston Texans in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, right, talks with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after a 28-21 win over the Houston Texans in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Tennessee Titans and the Minnesota Vikings players meet at midfield following an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. Tennessee won 31-30. The NFL says the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings are suspending in-person activities after the Titans had three players test positive for the coronavirus, along with five other personnel. The league says both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the players’ union on tracing contacts, more testing and monitoring developments. The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.(AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Tennessee Titans and the Minnesota Vikings players meet at midfield following an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. Tennessee won 31-30. The NFL says the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings are suspending in-person activities after the Titans had three players test positive for the coronavirus, along with five other personnel. The league says both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the players’ union on tracing contacts, more testing and monitoring developments. The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.(AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (25) and Ameer Abdullah kneel during the National Anthem before the start of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. The Titans defeated the Vikings 31-30. The NFL says the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings are suspending in-person activities after the Titans had three players test positive for the coronavirus, along with five other personnel. The league says both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the players’ union on tracing contacts, more testing and monitoring developments. The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. (AP Photo/David Berding)
Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (25) and Ameer Abdullah kneel during the National Anthem before the start of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. The Titans defeated the Vikings 31-30. The NFL says the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings are suspending in-person activities after the Titans had three players test positive for the coronavirus, along with five other personnel. The league says both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the players’ union on tracing contacts, more testing and monitoring developments. The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. (AP Photo/David Berding)
FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2020, file photo, Tennessee Titans outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen instructs his players during NFL football training camp in Nashville, Tenn. (George Walker IV/The Tennessean via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2020, file photo, Tennessee Titans outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen instructs his players during NFL football training camp in Nashville, Tenn. (George Walker IV/The Tennessean via AP, Pool, File)
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