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Tennessee Titans Face 'Significant Punishment' for Violating COVID-19 Protocols by Holding Secret Practice

Illustration for article titled Tennessee Titans Face Significant Punishment for Violating COVID-19 Protocols by Holding Secret Practice
Photo: Al Messerschmidt (Getty Images)

What in the hell is going on with the Tennessee Titans?

When last we left them, a grand total of 22 players and staff members had tested positive for the coronavirus since September 24. But since Donald Trump continues to apparently meander around their facilities without a mask, that number continues to defy logic and inexplicably climb.

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We call that foreshadowing. Because guess what?

On Thursday morning, according to The Athletic, another Titans player tested positive for the White House virus, bringing their grand total to 23 players and staff and officially surpassing KeKe Wyatt by having more players with #ThatRona than she has kids.

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That’s quite the feat.

While the general populous remains flabbergasted at the Titans’ ability to take the Bébé’s Kids mantra of “We don’t die, we multiply!” to new heights, the rest of the NFL is fed up with the Titans refusal to get its house in order. More specifically, the league has launched an investigation into the Titans’ endless string of COVID-19 violations and per NBC Sports, the team could face “significant punishment” that could include fines, a loss of draft picks, and even forfeiture of games.

A big reason why Tennessee’s punishment could be so severe is that not only has their rash of positive coronavirus tests thrown the NFL’s schedule into chaos—we previously reported that their Week 4 matchup against the Steelers was postponed until October 25 and Sunday’s game against the Bills more than likely will suffer a similar fate—but also because the Titans practice facilities were shut down on September 26 in order to curtail the spread of COVID-19 aaaaaaaand apparently the team continued to hold secret practices anyway.

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From NFL reporter Paul Kuharsky:

A group of Titans worked out at Montgomery Bell Academy on Sept. 30 despite an NFL directive not to hold such get-togethers while team headquarters was closed because of a COVID-19 outbreak, according to sources who saw players there.

A league source said that once the Titans building was closed down on Sept. 29, the franchise was told there were to be “no in-person meetings, workouts or activities at the facility or elsewhere.”

Students at the private school saw a large group of adult football players they identified as Titans working out on the school’s field during classes in the middle of the day. Another source said he saw Ryan Tannehill there.

Mike Vrabel and Jon Robinson did not return requests for comment

You can’t make this shit up.

Should the NFL decide to make the Titans forfeit games as part of a “historic” punishment, things could get even more tricky. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report reports that if Tennessee is forced to forfeit games, neither team would be paid.

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Ouch.

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We knew this pandemic would present its fair share of challenges this season, but at this rate, we might not have football for much longer if the NFL doesn’t get this shit in order.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

It isn’t surprising. While they are better off financially, NFL players are still a subset of the population and look how hard-headed our fellow citizens nationwide have turned out to be. Simple advice on how to get through the pandemic and what do many of us do? Ignore it, avoid it, basically the opposite. I can’t believe how many news stories on parents “rallying” for the right for their kids to play sports against advice of doctors and scientists. God forbid they sacrifice a season of high school football! So why would a bunch of professional football players be any different? I’m sure they’ve convinced themselves that they “have to” get out there and practice because it’s just so important and “it’s not just a game.” But why implement strict measures to follow in the first place if guys are just going to do whatever they want?

What if Americans were collectively as passionate about science, or math, just educating kids in general, as they are about their right to have sports and go to Applebees?