Tennessee Titans: Just when we thought we had something going for us
Just when I thought I could get my hopes up again (see my article yesterday) 2020 comes and kicks me squarely in the nuts.
This time, it is affecting not only the Tennessee Titans' players, coaches, staff, and personnel, but it is affecting the fans who have purchased a limited number of tickets to see their favorite team play, the journalists and members of the media whose jobs are to cover the team and the games, and the other NFL teams who will play the Titans in the next month.
When I heard from my cousin who attends Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville that he had seen some Titans players working out on the football field last week, I thought nothing of it.
The concern now amongst the Titans organization and fans is that the team will receive some kind of disciplinary action from the NFL for violating COVID-19 protocol shortly after the team's facilities were shutdown last Monday, according to ESPN's Turren Davenport and reporter Paul Kuharsky.
On September 30 just a day after the Titans returned to the Music City after defeating the Vikings, the first wave of positive tests returned. Thus, the NFL closed the team practice facilities at St. Thomas Sports Park until the outbreak was "under-control."
Images obtained by Kuharsky two separate groups on that same day working out around the city.
The NFL is aware that roughly 20 Titans players worked out MBA and starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill was named as one of the attendees.
This second image shows the defensive backs - working out away from the players shown in the first image - at a local college's baseball field.
Head coach Mike Vrabel said bluntly that he was not aware of his players or staff violating the league's protocols for handling COVID-19, but as everyone now knows, the coach was likely bluffing to avoid creating any further drama.
According to several of the Titans' players, they were not aware that there were restrictions on gatherings outside of the facility, as a quote to AtoZ Sports shows.
“With the gatherings, there wasn’t anything written down saying we couldn’t, because there wasn’t a protocol for what to do if the building was closed but we still had a game,” one player said. “That just got added with the new updates. The players were under the impression it was ok on Wednesday because we had a game still that weekend.”
I have received confirmation through several sources that Tennessee will not have to forfeit its game Sunday against the Buffalo Bills in Nissan Stadium, but will the team have enough players to field a full team?
Corey Davis has been added to the Reserve/COVID-19 List. That means the Titans now have the following players available at wide receiver:
- AJ Brown (coming off knee injury)
- Kalif Raymond
- Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
- Cody Hollister (practice squad)
- Chester Rogers (practice squad)
I just don't know what to say anymore.