COVID-19 Latest: Groy, Titans, Super Bowl

The Chargers became the latest team to close their facility because of COVID-19. Center Ryan Groy tested positive for the coronavirus, leading the Bolts to shut down in-person activities Thursday (Twitter links via ESPN’s Adam Schefter and The Athletic’s Daniel Popper). The Chargers announced they received notice of the positive test Wednesday night and have identified close contacts.

This marks the Chargers’ first positive test since the start of training camp, though Anthony Lynn said he contracted the virus in the offseason. Lynn said he has not heard from the NFL regarding a rescheduling of Sunday’s Chargers-Broncos game. Groy, however, will not make the trip to Denver. The ex-Bill has started the past three games for a Bolts team that has dealt with a litany of injuries up front. Mike Pouncey will not play this season, and 2020 acquisitions Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga have played all of eight snaps together, with the former missing all but one game and the latter being sidelined for three.

Here is the latest from the COVID-19 front:

  • Super Bowl LV will present an atypical visual compared to the 54 prior Super Bowls. The NFL is planning its signature event to feature Raymond James Stadium at 20% capacity. This will mean approximately 15,000 fans will be present at the Tampa venue. Fans will be arranged in pods at least six feet apart, per Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com. Additionally, the NFL is not planning to move Super Bowl LV off its Feb. 7 date — even if a Week 18 makeup window is necessary. The league would eliminate the extra week between the conference championship games and Super Bowl LV in that event.
  • The NFL did not come down especially hard on the Titans for violating COVID-19 protocols, with Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reporting the league levied a $350K fine. No Titans coaches or staffers will face individual discipline, but the team will incur increased punishment if further violations occur. The Titans, whose outbreak led to 24 positive cases and multiple changes to the NFL schedule, violated mask protocols at their facility and held unsanctioned practices while they were barred from entering their building.
  • While Monday’s Giants-Buccaneers game remains on as scheduled, both teams experienced COVID-19 issues Thursday.
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