NFL Fines Titans For COVID-19 Violations, Handling Of Team Outrbeak

By Jason Hall

October 26, 2020

The National Football League has handed down its punishment to the Tennessee Titans in relation to COVID-19 protocol violations.

The Titans were fined $350,000 last week following the conclusion of a review into the organization's handling of a recent coronavirus outbreak, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. There would be no individual punishments and the team will not forfeit games or draft picks, ESPN reports.

The Titans were reported to be fully cooperative while the NFL inspected the team's facility. The league found incidences of people not wearing masks, however, there was insufficient communication between regarding player workouts outside the facility as the franchise dealt with multiple COVID-19 cases.

The Titans reported a total of 24 positive cases, which includes 13 players and 11 team personnel, since September 24. Tennessee's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers initially scheduled for Week 4 was postponed to Week 7 (October 25) and their Week 5 matchup against the Buffalo Bills was moved back two days amid the growing number of cases.

The rescheduling of the Week 5 matchup came days after news of the Titans reportedly breaking the National Football League's COVID-19 protocols to gather for a private workout amid a COVID-19 outbreak.

Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky initially reported several players held a workout at Montgomery Bell Academy on September 30, despite NFL rules prohibiting group activities while team facilities were closed due to positive cases of the coronavirus.

Sources later confirmed the report to NewsChannel 5's Steve Layman. Layman reports the NFL is continuing to investigate the origins and spread of COVID-19 among the franchise and is looking into the reported workout at MBA.

The franchise was still prohibited from holding in-person gatherings and group activities at the time of the reported practice.

The players that were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list included defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, linebacker Kamalei Correa, cornerback Kristian Fulton, wide receiver Adam Humphries, defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, long-snapper Beau Brinkley, wide receiver Cameron Batson, tight end Tommy Hudson, fullback Khari Blasingame and cornerback Greg Mabin.

Earlier this month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell warned all 32 franchises of penalties for violations of COVID-19 protocols that force changes in the schedule, which included potential forfeits of games. The Titans continued daily testing since being forced to close their facility on September 29, after the franchise initially reported cases for three players and five personnel members.

Tennessee then reported more cases each day, which grew to a total of 20 positive tests, including both players and team personnel, over a six-day span until reporting zero on Monday.

Photo: Getty Images

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