NASHVILLE – Let's play some football.
And let's keep our fingers crossed.
The Titans vs Bills game is now on the schedule for Tuesday night at Nissan Stadium, as long as the team doesn't have more positive COVID-19 tests before then. Same for the Bills, of course, because this virus can hit at any place, at any time.
So, here's hoping this game kicks off Tuesday.
In the meantime, let's dive into another Titans mailbag …
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
Jason Camp from Prince Frederick, Maryland
Question: Hey Jim, first time submitting a question I hope I am one of the Chosen ones. Been a Titans fan since I could remember in the good ol' Air McNair Derek Mason and Eddie George days. Glad to see that the team is beginning to recover from the COVID outbreak and is possibly getting back to work soon. Just a couple questions, first do we have any Idea on how AJ and Jackson are doing? I know AJ is week to week but I can't help but feel the surprise bye week helped in some way. With all of the players we have missing from the COVID list is the team looking to grab or promote players to fill some slots? I understand not doing it for a couple but with 10-12 players on the list and some injured i think some players may need to be brought in or promoted to fill the hole. Thank you Sir. Hope you and yours are doing well in these incredibly strange times. Please let Vrabel and the team know us Titans fans believe in them and they are doing an incredible job. Wins are wins and it looks like we could be looking at a great year all things considered.
Jim: Hey Jason. You are one of the chosen! A.J. and Adoree' have both made progress. If there's one positive about the games being rescheduled, it's that it's allowed some of the injured guys to get healthy. Of course in the process, others are out because of COVID-19. But on the projected injury report this week, A.J. has been listed as a limited participant. We'll get a better idea when practices actually start. Same for Adoree', who remains on Injured Reserve. On Saturday, Vrabel said Adoree' remains on IR and is currently unavailable. As for practice squad opportunity, there's no doubt some guys are going to get called up and be given a shot.
Bill Humphries from Spartanburg, South Carolina
Question: Hey Jim. A lot of talk about adding players to covid list. My question is this: Isn't it about time for some earlier case players like Batson and Humphries and a few more to start coming off list. What is policy? How long do players stay on? Some of ours have been on for 10+ days. Any chance of getting them back soon?
Jim: Hey Bill. Believe me, I've thought a lot about this. The guidelines are complicated, and among the factors in play is whether guys have had symptoms or not. Coach Vrabel said some guys have had symptoms, but he hasn't said which ones. Earlier this week, he made it sound like he wasn't expecting any of the guys on the Reserve/COVID-19 list to be available. The timetable for some guys is going to make it interesting. We'll have to see how things play out over the next few days.
Ron Kinlen from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. I was sorry or maybe disappointed to see so many Titan names showing up on the reserve/covid-19 list. It just tells me that the virus does not care who you are player or janitor leave the door open and it's coming in. My question is about forfeits. Does the team have any say in this decision or is it totally the N.F.L.? To me with where the team is with available players I would prefer a loss due to forfeit rather than a loss and more players physically getting injured. I think if they rush someone back from injury to fill a roster spot it could hurt us more down the road in this crazy season. Titan up to all!
Jim: Hey Ron. Based on what I've read, and this isn't specific to the Titans, but it sounds like the NFL wants to avoid forfeits. Players don't get paid for games that are forfeited, and the NFLPA wouldn't be happy about that. Heck, no one would be happy with that. And it's a league decision.
Adam Hyman from Orlando, Florida
Question: What's going on with Isaiah Wilson? I feel like he has been on the Covid list for months. Is he being held out for his behavior? It would be nice to get him on the field to help out. If Lewan goes down, Kelly could play LT and he could actually TRY and help this team as a first-round pick at right tackle. Thanks for all you do!!
Jim: Hey Adam. This has become a popular question in here. UPDATE: Isaiah was activated from the COVID-19 list on Saturday, where he'd been since early September. Now it's about him getting physically ready to play now, and being in a position where the medical staff feels comfortable in really turning him loose. But you also need to keep in mind he's not bumping Taylor Lewan or Dennis Kelly from the starting lineup. I've said this before: Isaiah was always drafted to be the future, and now it's just a matter of how far off that ends up being.
Josh Bomar from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question: I don't think the league has a right to take away draft picks and fine the organization over this. The Titans won't be the last to deal with this so why ""Make an example" out of the organization??? We are living in a global pandemic. Unless you play in a bubble, these things are inevitable. We all knew this was a possibility for any team... It was fun while it lasted.
Jim: Hey Josh. Hope all is well. COVID-19 isn't going away. All you have to do is look around the country, and the NFL. Cases are going up, and teams are going to have to do the best they can. And it's still fun. The Titans are 3-0, with 13 regular season games left.
Juan Coyote from Mexico, CDMX
Question: Buen día Mr Jim, perdón por opinar en este caso sobre si el equipo merece un castigo por los contagios antes de que se tenga un resultado en la investigación, pero la NFL estaba consiente de que está temporada es diferente a otras por la pandemia, en algunos casos de contagio en mi país aún cuando las personas no salían de casa se presentaron casos de contagio, otros deportes lo asumieron y han tenido que modificar su calendario sin presentarse algún castigo, por lo que castigar al equipo por contagios es casi culparlos por la pandemia. Espero que el equipo logré superar está situación y que no se presenten más contagios, pero sobre todo que los integrantes de la organización y sus familias se encuentren bien. Saludos y un abrazo fuerte para todos.
Jim: Gracias por el mensaje y los buenos deseos. Como le mencioné a Josh, este virus no va a ninguna parte. Cada equipo está haciendo lo mejor que puede, y eso incluye a los Titans. Será un desafío durante toda la temporada, especialmente a medida que nos acercamos al invierno. Pero voy a intentar mantenerme optimista. Manténgase seguro y lo mejor para usted.
Billy Muller from Milford, New Jersey
Question: Hey Jim, I try to read your articles from time and time and decided to shoot a question, since I am a long time Titans fan. Given the past few years, the overall team has become a name again (this is what I like about the underdog mentality), and it's super exciting to actually have your team be a contender for the SB. Do you think the team still has the underdog mentality though? Now that they are winning (I can say barely, but to be honest, "finding" a way to win is what matters, not every team is going to blow out the other - and I say this because I grew up a Giants fan - they found a way to win those two SB's and were not the best team), I am afraid they will fall on their face. Our defense doesn't seem to be on par with what it was last year, but it is early in the season and I know mentality changes as the closer you get to playoff time..we will lose giving up all the yards and plays they have been. We won't be able to overcome and beat let's say..KC again. All in all, I am hoping they stick to their guns as a team, be the same group they were last year and be right back in that playoff spot, making the nonbelievers say "Where did these guys come from?!". Thanks Jim.
Jim: Hey Billy. Good to hear from you. The Titans are definitely a hungry team. Sure, the run to the AFC Championship Game was fun, but the 2019 season ended two wins short of the ultimate goal. This is a new team, with bigger goals, starting with trying to win a division title for the first time since 2008. Ending that long dry spell should provide plenty of incentive itself. Do the Titans need to improve based off what we've seen so far? Yes. But the team is off to a good start, and it has big potential.
Randy Porter from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim! Well, it's been a while and like so many, I've sat anxiously, yet not so patiently, waiting to cheer on our guys in person. But, the wait has been a little less painful, by staying in touch through your eyes and the Mailbag. As we watched the start of this season, we've done so at a respectable "social distance", while stadiums sit eerily empty. Screaming fans have been replaced by silent cardboard likenesses and the networks use artificial sound and creative camera angles, in an effort to bring a sense of normalcy to the games. Clearly, this season is different from others in all the obvious ways, but I think it has revealed emotions in fans and team members, that few anticipated. We are assaulted daily with reminders that life as we knew it has changed. Things we enjoyed and often took for granted, have been replaced with a pandemic, uncertainty, civil unrest and violence. These third-world behaviors and political unrest were always "somewhere else" and Americans are ill-equipped to deal with them. And frankly, we shouldn't have to. For football fans however, the one thing we had to look forward to was football season and yet, even that seemed in jeopardy. Many of us watched reruns of past games, just to satisfy that late summer football itch and once the NFL season was finally given the go, we were all brimming with excitement. Titans football was finally here and for many, this season took on a special importance. This season, the Titans represent more than just football I think, they are the relief that's needed and a short return to normalcy. Titans football is a positive escape from the reality we're all so tired of. I say "positive" because by its very nature, football is all-inclusive and unites fans of every race, background, social standing, religion and political view. None of that matters during the season, only football matters. We all share a love for the game and a passion for our team, but yet we tailgate together, cheer together and opposing fans spout light-hearted banter at each other constantly. We wave our blue towels proudly, while using other teams towels for less dignified purposes. But in the end we all get along fine. We don't assault each other, burn each other's cars or homes, or throw bricks. And the only skin color that matters, is the jersey we wear. Football fans set an example that many could follow right now. So far, we've watched the Titans fight for a less than perfect, yet I think impressive and very satisfying 3-0 start. Of course, the social media coaches and team analysts have been quick to point out areas of concern and issue instructions for their immediate resolve. Defense was their primary concern, but I think they had advice for all positions. Now however, a bit of reality has hit the team hard. In spite of precautions, an increasing number of players and staff have tested positive and must sit out and the practice facility is closed. Some of these guys will feel fine, some not well at all. Either way, my heart goes out to every single team member dealing with this. How will this affect the next game or the one after? We don't know, but it's hardly time for panic. They will play when they are able and my seats will sit empty until they can. The point is, from the first play of the first game, many fans like me didn't just watch, we "savored" every play. It was a return to what we all look forward to, in a time when it's appreciated most. I think most players and staff share that feeling during a season that almost wasn't. When they can play, I'll be there and will cheer on whoever in wearing Titans blue. Sure I want all starters healthy and playing. And we all want to see them at 4-0 and continue to win. None more than the Titans themselves. But let's try to remember the players who desperately want to play and can't and support the ones who are playing, trying to pick up the slack. This is a tough year and this team is doing everything it can to make us proud, in spite of the adversity they are dealing with. Naturally, I want to see the Titans win, but this year, win or lose, I'm just grateful to watch them play - Titan Up !
Jim: Way to close us out, Randy.
Have a great weekend everyone!