NASHVILLE — Tennessee Titans players worked out at Montgomery Bell Academy on Sept. 30 despite an NFL directive not to gather sent down on Sept. 29, according to a report from Paul Kuharsky.
The news comes in light of two more positive COVID-19 tests of Tennessee players Wednesday morning that will keep the team’s practice facility closed for the foreseeable future.
While the NFL considers levying “historic” punishments against the Titans, holes exist in the timeline of when players actually knew whether they were or were not permitted to gather outside of Saint Thomas Sports Park.
The NFL did not reschedule the Week 3 contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) and Tennessee until Friday, Oct. 2. On Sept. 30th, the Titans were still trying to prepare to play that game.
Titans Players on the MBA Practice
“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 told AtoZ Sports. “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.”
“We were not told (to stay apart) until Thursday (Oct. 1),” added another Titan.
Coach Mike Vrabel was asked what he had told his players regarding group gatherings in a Zoom call with media on Oct. 1.
“At 8:30 am, we had a squad meeting to inform the team that in light of the two recent positive tests that we had, the NFL had made the smart and safe decision to postpone our game, and that we would be on a Bye Week starting now,” Vrabel stated. “Reminded them to not gather with each other, players and staff, until we can find a safe way to enter in back to our building. Hopefully, which would happen Monday or Tuesday, which we would then prepare for preparation against Buffalo. I told them to try to mentally recover from an emotional few days so that we can proceed with our season, build on a 3-0 start.”
— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisWSMV) October 7, 2020
Whether it was right or wrong of 15 Titans to practice at MBA on Sept. 30 is still very much up for debate. The fact remains that, by the NFL’s standard that had been implemented with both the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots, any Titans player who attended that workout was, at the time, healthy by league standards.
And, at the time, players had not yet been given the directive to stay apart.
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