NFL, NFLPA Investigating Titans for ‘Failure to Follow’ Protocols


Stephen Maturen/Getty Images Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel on the sidelines during last weekend’s game against the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis.

On Sunday the Tennessee Titans had another player and another staffer test positive for COVID-19, this according to ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

With 16 other positive tests in the last week, the Titans now have 18 positives in that time frame, which prompted the NFL and National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) to descend on Nashville to investigate whether the organization violated the league’s coronavirus-related protocols.

“This isn’t a failure of the protocols, it is a failure to follow the protocols,” a source told Schefter, who writes that “the NFL and NFLPA have asked the Titans to turn over multiple videotapes of team activities so they can get a better idea of the root of the outbreak.”

According to Schefter, “the investigation is focused on Titans outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen being the first in the organization to contract the coronavirus, and a potential failure by at least some to report symptoms and wear masks.”

A source told Schefter that Bowen was exposed to individuals who had been exposed to the virus. If the league and the NFLPA finds that a member of the Titans didn’t report being exposed to someone with the virus, that would be a violation the protocol. The Titans could also face punishment—in the form of fines and/or loss of a draft pick—if it is found that the Titans weren’t diligent about wearing masks in their training facility.

Tennessee’s Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers had to be postponed—and subsequently rescheduled for Week 7—because of the outbreak, and Schefter reports that the Bills-Titans game in Week 5 is now in doubt as well.

In part, that’s because Tennessee cannot reopen its facility to in-person activities until at least Wednesday of this week, as consecutive days with no positive tests are required before that can occur.

Meanwhile, the NFL has scheduled a COVID “accountability, learnings and requirements” conference call with all of the league’s teams for Monday morning.

If the pattern of this past week holds, the Titans will announce the name of the player who most recently tested positive sometime Sunday afternoon (when it places him on the team’s COVID-19 Reserve list). To date, the most prominent name on Tennessee’s list is defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, the team’s first round draft pick in 2019 (19th overall, Mississippi State). So far this season Simmons has been in on 12 tackles (six solo) and one sack.

Browns Running Back Nick Chubb Injured

In other news from Sunday, Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb suffered a leg injury during the team’s game against Dallas when Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrsten Hill rolled up on his lower leg.

Chubb was subsequently ruled “out” for the game having gained 43 yards on six carries. In Chubb’s absence, the Browns split the workload between fourth-year running back Kareem Hunt and second-year man D’Ernest Johnson.

Follow the Heavy on Steelers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

READ NEXT: Steelers Offensive Tackle Arrested, Charged with Multiple Felonies