If Titans reopen Wednesday, things may start with just a walk-through

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – If the Titans get no new positive test results back Wednesday morning, Mike Vrabel is expecting a green light from the NFL to reopen the team’s facility.

But he indicated his team will ease back into practice work after what will have been nine days away.

FocusedTitans

“I hope that we’ve done some things to stay active but I will have to evaluate their fitness level, their conditioning level,” he said. “Try to have a walk-through, something like that, and then being able to run and move around a little bit.” [Unlocked]

While he hopes to get his players back, he’s going to have to size up just what it is he’s getting back and plot accordingly as the team prepares for Sunday’s home game against Buffalo.

Logistically, things will be complicated, as the team will be allowed to practice, but only 10 players are a time will be permitted in the weight room, smaller groups than that can get treatment together and all meetings will continue to be held online.

While protocols for returning to the facility and returning to play make different allowances for asymptomatic and symptomatic players, Vrabel said the Titans will not be differentiating and indicated there is no cause to expect any of the nine guys who have tested positive to play this week.

You can see their thinned-out depth chart in this post.

“They are heading in the right direction, but to get into individual and specific symptoms, that’s not something that we’re going to do,” he said. “And I don’t think that there is going to be a shortened return based on symptoms.

“I think that we’re just going to have to let this play out with the protocols, let them work themselves out as it relates to the time away, especially the return to play, the ramp-up period that we’ve seen from other players on our team throughout the league that go through this ramp-up period and monitor the cardiovascular health.”

ReturnToPlay

On questions about the league’s investigation into whether the Titans sufficiently followed NFL protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Vrabel maintained he stands by the organization's efforts to follow what has been put in place.

A few other notes from his Zoom press conference:

-While the onboarding process for free agents has been extended in a revision of protocols, Vrabel said he’s confident the Titans will have time to add a long-snapper to fill in for Beau Brinkley, one of the nine players who tested positive in the team’s outbreak.

apple icon 144x144 precomposed-Vrabel expects “most” coaches affected by the outbreak to be back for the game, but any who are not will not have a role in the game. He said things are set up in a way that the Titans are equipped to handle some carryover at each position if it’s needed.

-The roster is currently at 47 and the Titans need to have 48 for game day, including at least eight offensive linemen. Vrabel said with a practice squad currently composed of 14 players the Titans have sufficient people, though some will have to pull double duty. A practice squad cornerback who’s not going to be signed and have a role on Sunday may be called on to play some scout team cornerback too.

-Isaiah Wilson has been on the Covid-Reserve list since Sept. 6, a full month. It seems like an easy place for the Titans to continue to stash a troubled player who was cited for trespassing by TSU police on Aug. 15 and crashed his vehicle and faces drunk driving charges from a Sept. 12 incident. “Let me say that there are some things we continue to monitor with Isaiah and we’re hopeful that we can get him back tomorrow and be able to evaluate him and his potential return from that list,” Vrabel said cryptically.

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