Jon Robinson says 'there have been some inconsistencies' with Titans' mask use

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a Nissan Stadium workout on Aug. 3, Taylor Lewan offered huge props to the Titans' union representative Dennis Kelly for his mask enforcement in the locker room and around the team facility.

“Dennis would be an unbelievable dictator in any country the way he's been handling this mask thing,” Lewan said.

Alas, Kelly was just one man and as confidence that the NFL was staving off COVID-19 got higher, some Titans’ masks got lower.

Jon Robinson conceded the Titans fell below the NFL’s expected standard for mask usage during the time of their COVID-19 outbreak during a nearly 30-minute Zoom session with media on Monday.


“We’ve been fairly compliant,” he said. “I would say to say that we’re 100 percent would be a false statement. There have been some inconsistencies there. But I’ve talked to certainly several other GMs during this time who’re reached out to me and just checked on us and my family knowing my personal situation (with a daughter who’s immunocompromised) and they’ve faced some of the same things that we’ve faced with masks.

“We’re constantly reminding players, if we see (the mask) below their nose to pull it up, if we see them around their neck to pull it up. It’s a constant reminder, certainly when I’m down there. Yeah, that’s been one of the more challenging things.”

Robinson he had no idea about a league timetable for the league’s closure and results of its joint investigation with the NFLPA and that it’s not for him to say if the Titans warrant punishment for a role in their outbreak

He really pondered a question about whether the outbreak was preventable.

“Trust me, I’ve wracked my brain a lot just trying to piece it together and trying to figure it out,” he said. “What I keep coming back and telling myself is we’re dealing with a microscopic bug that has found its way into a lot of people, certainly in our country, and globally. And it’s affected some greatly and others have had no symptoms or minimal issues.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

“We don’t know how it’s going to affect us but all it takes is a small window of opportunity, it seems, for this thing to find its way in and have an impact.”

In the name of eliminating one of these small windows, Robinson said a positive test result came back for a coach on Sunday, contact tracing gave the Titans cause to err on the side of caution with one player. That player was kept home as the team gathered at the facility for a practice that afternoon, with only players, staff and medical personnel in attendance. He has since been cleared.

With regard to Shane Bowen’s positive test and entry into the COVID-19 protocol on Sept. 26 hours before the team bussed to the airport and took off for Minnesota, Robinson offered this:

“When we got wind that coach Bowen had tested positive, we went to the contact tracing. And the numbers weren’t high enough from a time standpoint to really alert anything. Those people that he had come in contact with, nobody had symptoms. We moved forward, and then once we got back from Minnesota, we started to try to work with the league to gather some information. The feedback that we provided hopefully led to the enhanced protocols that came out last week.”

The time standpoint is being within six feet of a person for at least 15 minutes.

But something broke from there -- as 12 players and 10 staff members tested positive since then.  

Two players, DaQuan Jones and Beau Brinkley, have come off Covid-Reserve. More could be removed from the list before the Bills' game. 

The Titans could still be without a few coaches Tuesday night if the game goes off as planned, while additional players can still come off the list and be available to play against the Bills.

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