Titans players motivated by narration surrounding COVID-19 outbreak

Tennessee Titans

FILE – In this Jan. 11, 2020, file photo, Tennessee Titans free safety Kevin Byard reacts after intercepting a pass during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore. Byard has the most interceptions in the NFL since the start of the 2017 season, yet his biggest catch came at home. He wound up delivering his son when his wife’s contractions prevented them from getting to the hospital. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After reporting two consecutive days of negative COVID-19 test results, the Tennessee Titans are back at St. Thomas Sports Park for the first time since September 29th.

Before practice, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel spoke with the media on a Zoom conference call. He took time to address everything from getting ready to play Buffalo on Tuesday, to commenting on the current NFL investigation of the team.

Vrabel said the team was excited to return to practice. He also thanked the NFL and NFLPA for trying to keep the team safe.

“Our players health and safety will always be a priority and they have assisted us in making sure that happens,” said Vrabel.

As for this weekends schedule, the Titans plan to hold regular practice Saturday and Sunday, and will go through their walkthrough Monday. Vrabel said he’s “hopeful” some players on the COVID-19/reserve list will be available for Tuesday’s game. The Titans will still be without cornerback Adoree’ Jackson who is currently on IR. Wide receiver A.J. Brown’s status (knee) is still up in the air, but rookie offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson has been removed from the COVID-19 list and could get some playing time on Tuesday.

“Obviously we’re going to be missing some guys, but that’s just the situation we’re in,” Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said on Saturday. “We didn’t choose this, but we’re living in the middle of a pandemic and this came up. We’re going to be down some guys, but it also raises a big opportunity for some guys that have been with us.”

The Titans are back at practice, but could still face discipline from the league after players reportedly broke COVID-19 protocols. One incident the NFL is looking into is a small group of players (including QB Ryan Tannehill) who came together at Montgomery Bell Academy for a workout on September 30th.

“We’ve been completely transparent with the NFL and NFLPA. Right now we are going to wait for their summary before commenting any further on any of those discussions,” said Vrabel.

There have been a lot of opinions around the league when it comes to Titans handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and some people are adamant that the team needs to face strict punishment. Titans safety Kevin Byard said he’s been keeping watch of everything.

“To see a lot of the comments around the league, like I said, I took note of that for sure, and it’s definitely going to motivate me. We’re in a pandemic. If anybody went into the season thinking there weren’t going to be positive tests, or outbreaks, they were mistaken. We weren’t going out trying to be the team that had an outbreak,” said Byard.

As long as there are no more positive tests reported Sunday- Tuesday, the Titans will be set to battle with the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday. This would be the NFL’s first Tuesday game since the Vikings played the Eagles in Philadelphia on Dec. 28, 2010.

Kick-off set at 6 p.m. (CT) at Nissan Stadium.

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