The Tennessee Titans have avoided being docked a win for alleged Covid-19 violations – and that has set up a mouth-watering clash against Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
The Titans were forced to postpone two games after 24 players and staff tested positive, prompting an NFL investigation into their protocols.
The Titans could have lost draft picks or even had wins taken away as punishment but have now been told they will escape with a financial penalty.
That means two of the league’s three undefeated teams meet in Tennessee this weekend, with 5-0 records, in the season’s biggest game so far.
And Steelers boss Tomlin insisted that in the Covid chaos of the NFL, he is more interested in just playing games rather than making bold statements by beating the Titans.
He said: “We’re not into statements, we’ll let you guys make the statements.
“We’re just gonna line up and play against those that we’re scheduled to play against.
“That’s life in this game. We’re appreciative, and more importantly, we’re really excited.
“You can’t take anything for granted in this environment.
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“We appreciate all the sacrifices that everybody’s making in an effort to keep this ball rolling.”
The Seattle Seahawks are the only other team with a perfect 5-0 record and, after a week off, travel to face an Arizona Cardinals team who had to play on Monday when they beat the Dallas Cowboys 38-10.
That win heaped the pressure on Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy ahead of this weekend’s trip to Washington.
Incredibly, in the ultra weak NFC East, Dallas’s 2-4 record has them in first place – not that owner Jerry Jones is impressed.
He said: "I'm not in a feel-good mood, frankly, that we've got manna from heaven being in the East.
"When you're not playing better than we are, it's hard for me to basically look at the end game, which is win the East, and get excited that we're not better.”
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