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The Steelers-Titans game, which was originally scheduled to be played on Sunday, Oct. 4, will now be rescheduled to a date later in the season after members of the Titans organization, including several players, tested positive for COVID-19.
For Coach Mike Tomlin, while he said he understood the decision and that it’s the nature of things in the throes of a global pandemic, he was disappointed the team wouldn’t be playing after beginning preparation.
For Coach Mike Tomlin, while he said he understood the decision and that it’s the nature of things in the throes of a global pandemic, he was disappointed the team wouldn’t be playing after beginning preparation. “I am disappointed because we were preparing to play and we’re not getting an opportunity to,” said Tomlin on Oct. 1 when the NFL announced its decision. “We understand the nature of this environment we are in in 2020 and we are adjusting accordingly. There is disappointment. There is no question. We worked extremely hard at the beginning portion of this week in preparation for what we thought was an opportunity versus an undefeated team in their venue. You lean in on those opportunities. We are not getting an opportunity to do that.
“I think we are all understanding of the situ-ation. It’s not a lack of understanding. It’s just that we live in these seven-day cycles. We had a game scheduled so we were going through a process. Not only is that physical work, that is mental work and we were readying ourselves for the opportunity and we are not getting it and so it is a letdown.”
The Steelers had practiced on both Wednes-day and Thursday of the week leading up to the Oct. 4 scheduled game in Nashville but then were off from football activity through the weekend. Players remained in the area, though, to undergo their required daily testing for COVID-19.
“The rules are different,” said Tomlin about the team’s unexpected bye. “But from my under-standing the rules are going to be different for all of us. There will be daily COVID testing through-out this weekend, so the guys will have to remain local. We understand that. We plan to adhere to that.”
The NFL had not said when it would announce when the game will be played, and Tomlin said while he has “had some information regarding potentially what the future looks like,” it’s all hypothetical and he would be focusing on preparing to play the Eagles at Heinz Field on Oct. 11.
“I am a tangible guy,” said Tomlin. “The next tangible thing for us is the Philadelphia Eagles, so that is where my attentions are transitioning towards. I will let the people that handle that business focus on that.”
When asked if he thought the decision to reschedule the game for a later date was the correct one, Tomlin said, or not, Tomlin “My opinion does not matter. We take marching orders from the National Football League. We understand that they are acting in our collective best interest, and I have a great deal of comfort in that.”
The NFL announced the new schedule on Oct. 2, and it was as expected. Steelers at Titans was rescheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25. Also, Steelers at Ravens was moved from Oct. 25 to 1 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 1. Both games will be televised on CBS.
The Steelers and Titans both had their bye on Oct. 4, which means the Steelers now will have to play 13 weeks in a row instead of getting a break midway through the schedule.
“We do not care,” said Tomlin.