Those of you who have been paying attention have probably noticed that the NFL has relaxed some of its COVID-19 protocols. League offices are entrusting players to really take things seriously as, on a team-by-team basis, there are several franchises that haven’t made it mandatory for their players to take the vaccination. All of those thoughts have a way of crossing one’s mind when you look at what’s going on with the Tennessee Titans over the course of the past week.
They’ve had more than their fair share of guys find their way onto their Reserve/COVID-19 list. That includes Nick Dzubnar, Jeremy McNichols, and Anthony Rush, who sit there now. Harold Landry, who the Titans announced would be added to the list on Wednesday, and Mike Vrabel who announced that he had tested positive on the day after the Tennessee Titans’ third preseason game this past Saturday.
So, what does that mean for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who just hosted the Titans for two joint practices on Wednesday, August 18th, and Thursday, August 19th before hosting the Titans for a preseason game this past Saturday. Remember all of those photos that you saw of Tom Brady hanging around with Mike Vrabel?
Bruce Arians says the Tennessee Titans issues have no bearing on his football team.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians isn’t someone that would ever be classified as someone that shies away from expressing his opinion. As you might imagine, when speaking with several members of Tampa’s media recently, the subject of the Tennessee Titans, their recent visit to Florida, and the close contact that they’ve had with their team came up.
Here’s what he had to say on the subject.
"For us, life is not normal. We’re pretty much under the same protocol, we’re going to be under the same protocols as last year… That’s the way it is, especially living here [in Florida]. Tennessee coming in and going out to dinner, they found out the hard way. So did Ryan. You can only tell them so much. Once we get to 53 (players), even this weekend (for Tampa’s preseason game), our guys are going to make a bunch of sacrifices that you have to make now. Families at the hotel, all those things, they’re all out the window."
Ryan Succop, a former Titans kicker who now earns a living with the Bucs landed on their Reserve/COVID-19 list as well. He went out to dinner with several friends/former teammates. It’s important to mention that he was in accordance with league rules when he did so. He’s fully vaccinated, so per NFL guidelines, he’s done nothing in error.
There’s also this. According to ESPN’s Turron Davenport, none of the Titans who dined with Succop tested positive for Coronavirus.
The league has its rules, and as the Bucs leader put it, in his usual Bruce Arians way, there are the guidelines that come from Coach Arians himself. Perhaps, it’s his words that sum this up the best.
"We’re good. We don’t have anything. No problems whatsoever… I don’t give a crap if they’re vaccinated or not. They ain’t going anywhere."
If you’re looking for a silver lining, this is it. This shouldn’t prevent Titans coach Mike Vrabel or Harold Landry from participating in Tennessee’s first game of the season, a home date at Nissan Stadium versus a very talented and young Arizona Cardinals team.