NASHVILLE – Titans head coach Mike Vrabel held a Zoom conference call with reporters on Tuesday, the same day veterans reported to Saint Thomas Sports Park for COVID-19 testing.
Vrabel dropped a few news nuggets on the call:
- He revealed first-round pick Isaiah Wilson has been placed on the NFL's new Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The new reserve list category was created for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons. If a player falls into either of these categories, his club is required to immediately place the player on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Per agreed upon NFL-NFLPA policy, clubs are not permitted to comment on player's medical status other than referring to roster status. Clubs may not disclose whether player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19.
- Inside linebacker Jayon Brown will begin camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Vrabel did not reveal any specifics regarding Brown's status.
- Vrabel confirmed tackle Anthony McKinney, an undrafted free agent from Texas Christian University, has opted out for the 2020 season because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
"Obviously we are very sensitive to the feelings of those players around the league who have done that," Vrabel said. "We support (Anthony) and all those players who have done that.
"As far as future players (who might elect to opt-out), I have not heard or talked to any of them. We'll wait for our players to make the decision that is in the best interest of them and their family before we proceed, and they have until Monday to do that."
More highlights from the call:
- Vrabel gave a detailed plan on what the schedule for players will look like at the start of camp.
Players are being tested during a seven-day window at the start. On the fifth day, physicals will be performed and on the sixth day, players will go through equipment fitting and procedural work. On the seventh day, players will have a "normal day of lifting and running, and a walk-through."
The Titans will have OTA-like practices when they hit the field before they get into padded practices. With no joint practices or preseason games, Vrabel said he aims to have scrimmages to help with the evaluation of players.
The team's first meeting is scheduled to take place on August 2nd, and the first OTA-like practice is scheduled for August 14.
"We're going to have to put guys in competitive situations to be able to evaluate them," Vrabel said.
- Vrabel said the Titans are committed to navigating through all the issues surrounding the coronavirus.
The team's locker room has been updated for COVID-19 precautions, with dividers in between lockers. The team plans to hold team meetings, and offensive and defensive meetings, in STSP's indoor practice facility to help with social distancing.
Players will have assigned seats for meetings, and the team will sanitize chairs and areas around STSP, from the locker room to the weight room and beyong, on a regular basis, Vrabel said.
Vrabel acknowledged the Titans – and all NFL teams – will need to be flexible during what will be an unprecedented season.
"We are happy with this Titans bubble we've created at the start of this process," Vrabel said. "We will remain flexible and be able to adjust and be adaptive to what is going on around us and do what is best for the team."
- On two separate occasions, Vrabel was asked about free agent defensive Jadeveon Clowney.
Vrabel said the team has not scheduled any meetings or physicals with the former Texans and Seahawks pass rusher.
"Right now, J.D. is not under contract with the Tennessee Titans – that's all I can tell you guys," Vrabel said. "He is a free agent, one that we've had contact with. But he is not under contract with the Tennessee Titans, and that's all I can tell you."
Titans rookies and select veterans continue COVID-19 protocol and report for camp physicals in preparation for training camp. (Photos: Donald Page)
Titans rookies and select veteran players begin reporting to Saint Thomas Sports Park for COVID-19 testing in preparation for training camp. (Photos: Donald Page)