Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel held a presser with the Nashville media on Tuesday afternoon. Here are some of the topics he addressed.
UPDATE ON AFFECTED PLAYERS
Mike Vrabel provided an update on the affected players during the conference.
The Tennessee Titans had ten total players placed on the COVID list since September 24th: receiver Adam Humphries, defensive linemen DaQuan Jones and Jeffery Simmons, defensive back Kristian Fulton, long snapper Beau Brinkley, tight end Tommy Hudson, receiver Cam Batson, fullback Khari Blasingame, cornerback Greg Mabin, and linebacker Kamalei Correa.
“I would say everybody is progressing and doing well,” Vrabel said. “Everybody is doing better, and I would say everybody’s family, to the best of my knowledge, is doing well also.”
CAN PLAYERS RETURN VERSUS BUFFALO?
The Tennessee Titans, barring anymore setbacks, are set to face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at noon. The Titans have some key players on the COVID list that they could use in their upcoming game.
Some players are asymptomatic, while some are showing symptoms. Could some players who aren’t showing symptoms play on Sunday?
“They are headed in the right direction,” Vrabel said, “But I don’t think there’s going to be a shortened return based on symptoms … We’re just going to have to let this play out, let the protocols work themselves out as it relates to time away.”
It seems players like Simmons, Humphries, and Fulton, who are key players on the Titans roster, likely will not be available this Sunday based on that statement from Vrabel.
CAN LEWAN, JACKSON, AND BROWN RETURN?
On the bright side, key players such as Taylor Lewan, Adoree Jackson, and A.J. Brown did not get placed onto the COVID list for the Tennessee Titans.
Lewan suffered an injury versus the Vikings in week three, and has since had a bye week to rest up and heal. Adoree Jackson was placed on injured reserve in week one, and A.J. Brown has been nursing a bruised bone in his knee since week one.
Mike Vrabel provided a very quick, straight to the point answer when asked if there was a chance they could play.
“Chance? Yeah, sure. There’s a chance.”
STATUS OF NFL INVESTIGATION: SHOULD WE EXPECT DISCIPLINE?
The Tennessee Titans are now under investigation by the NFL and NFLPA to see if any protocols were broken to cause this outbreak. The NFL recently asked the Titans to turn over any videotapes of team activities.
The NFL believes there were protocols broken, and has since changed their protocols to make them more clear. There is expectation around the league that the NFL will make an example out of the Titans.
More on the NFL and NFLPA’s investigation of whether the Titans violated COVID-19 protocols:https://t.co/g7oLFDE0mD
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 4, 2020
Mike Vrabel provided some insight on how the Titans are handling the investigation.
“They’ve been here, we’ve met with them,” Vrabel said, “I met with them and then we’ve been in constant contact with the league as it relates to their thoughts and our conversations.”
As far as expecting discipline, Vrabel is leaving it up to the NFL to decide.
“I think that the league will put something up. I think that would be something for them to talk about. I don’t expect anything either way … I think I standby our efforts as an organization and as a team in following the protocols that were in place.”
PREPPING FOR THE BUFFALO BILLS
With everything that has happened, the Nashville media questioned the current mental state of the Tennessee Titans, and how they are feeling heading into their game with Buffalo.
“Mentally I think we’re strong as a unit,” Vrabel said, “I know that our staff is ready to teach and prepare the players for the game on Sunday.”
The Bills, at 4-0, come into Nashville as one of the hottest teams in the NFL. If the Titans are cleared to return to the facility on Wednesday, that would be really good news for a team that is ready to prepare for what should be a highly-anticipated game.
“I know they’re anxious to get back,” Vrabel said, “to get out on the practice field, to play games and compete against a very good Buffalo team.”
Vrabel noted the challenges the Titans have to prepare for against the Bills, noting the Bills’ ability to get off to fast starts against their opponents so far this season.
“(They are) scoring a lot of points, outscoring opponents 76-29, or whatever it is, in the first half,” Vrabel said. “So they are putting up a lot of points and playing with the lead. They are really good in the red zone, so we know the challenge and that’s where our focus is.
The Tennessee Titans will be severely shorthanded on Sunday, if they play. This will be a test on how resilient this football team is, something Vrabel has instilled in his guys over the last two seasons. Two consecutive days of no positive cases is a good sign that they could be back in the facility tomorrow.
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