There was some hope the Titans and Steelers could fit in their Week 4 matchup on Monday or Tuesday following a COVID-19 outbreak in the Tennessee locker room, but it appears both teams will have to wait a bit longer to see each other on the field.
The NFL announced Thursday it would be further postponing Titans vs. Steelers to later in the 2020 season after two more positive tests came out of Tennessee; one player and one team staffer.
"The Pittsburgh-Tennessee game scheduled for Week 4 will be rescheduled to later this season after one additional Titans player and one personnel member tested positive for COVID-19 today," the NFL said in a statement. "An announcement of the new game date will be made shortly. The decision to postpone the game was made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel. The Titans facility will remain closed and the team will continue to have no in-person activities until further notice."
Now, the league must rearrange the schedule of possibly multiple teams to fit in the extra game and maintain every team's 16-game slate.
One of the teams who's schedule could be impacted is the Ravens, who share the same bye week with the Steelers and are scheduled to play them in Week 7.
The Ravens could just play Pittsburgh in Week 8 and move their bye up a week early. That way, the Titans, who have a Week 7 bye, could play the Steelers on Week 7 to even everything out. In this case, both Pittsburgh and Tennessee would use this week as their official bye.
The NFL isn't in a bubble-like the NBA, so this is the reality of executing a season safely without a completely controlled environment. Players may test positive from time to time and teams need to be flexible with their schedules, even if they aren't the team with positive cases on their roster.