All eyes on Tennessee for looming COVID-19 punishment

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As the Titans continue to wrestle with an outbreak that may impact a second Tennessee regular-season game, when and if the Week Five contest against the Bills is played could be the least of the concerns in Nashville.

The other 31 NFL franchises are watching and waiting (and speculating) about the consequences the Titans may face for a variety of possible infractions, from violating pandemic protocols to potentially not sharing information about the outbreak on a timely basis to allowing players to work out last week when the facility was shut down.

As multiple sources have told PFT, the league is telling other teams that video footage from the Tennessee facility shows a blatant failure to wear face coverings. There’s also a question making the rounds as to whether a member of the coaching staff attending the off-site workout in which players engaged last week.

The league may not have the ability or the willingness to take action against players; however, other teams believe that the league will hit the organization hard. As noted yesterday, some expect “historic” punishment for the Titans.

It’s unclear what the league specifically will do. Primary options include fines, forfeiture of draft picks, and suspensions.

So what would be “historic” in this regard? Suspensions of coaches and/or executives for the rest of the season? Suspensions for a full calendar year? The removal of multiple first-round draft picks? An eight-figure fine?

At this point, no one knows what will happen. The thinking is that, whatever it is, it will happen soon. With the league intending to send a message to all other teams about the behavior that will and won’t be tolerated, this could be something that is announced by the end of the week.

33 responses to “All eyes on Tennessee for looming COVID-19 punishment

  1. The new england patriots filmed the Cincinnati Bengals signals
    and Cincinnati didn’t get anything.

  2. Punishment: Forfeit the game AND as a “fine”, the Titans should pay the Bills game checks for the week. The Titans are putting the entire league’s health and revenue in jeopardy.
    Slapping the wrist of a multi-billion $$ enterprise with a token fine, is just incompetence.
    This is the prefect time to set an example that could save the league year.

  3. The Patriots will forever own the minds of some sports fans. It’s quite unhealthy really. That team still has fans dancing on strings.

  4. Loss of first round draft picks for the next 3 years, 3 year post season ban, forfeiture of the rest of their games this year and suspend Mike Vrabel all next season.

    Done.

  5. Yeah… down vote me for highlighting the lack of punishment
    for filming to help steal a win compared to a mask violation
    that doesn’t effect the game’s outcome.

  6. “There’s also a question making the rounds as to whether a member of the coaching staff attending the off-site workout in which players engaged last week.”
    ______________

    That’s going to be huge in determining how severe the punishments are going to be. A few guys deciding to workout on their own would be one thing but it’s now starting to sound like much of the team was involved and highly unlikely that happens without any of the coaching staff knowing about it. A car load of guys might decide on their own to go to the local high school but you don’t get 35 guys (or whatever) doing that all at the same time without somebody coordinating it.

  7. Forfeit vs Bills could potentially be unfair to other AFC teams when it comes down to playoff seeding. Taking picks away and fines punishes just the team and doesn’t leave any collateral damage.

  8. doctorrustbelt says:
    October 8, 2020 at 1:25 pm
    Yeah… down vote me for highlighting the lack of punishment
    for filming to help steal a win compared to a mask violation
    that doesn’t effect the game’s outcome

    Everyone saw what was on the film. The BACKS of players and coaches
    And players running on and off the field

    I’m sure that was done so they could “cheat”

  9. These guys should be wacked and wacked hard. They are risking people’s lives. It’s that simple.

  10. If the forfeit to the Bills, they should also forfeit to the Steelers and any other game that they can’t play. Plus they should lose draft picks since they shouldn’t benefit from the forfeits on draft day.

  11. Lotta people out for “blood” in the comments section. Wonder how many of these self appointed COVID vigilantes have followed each and every mandate themselves? How had or attended gatherings of 10 or more? Have given the restaurant hostess a hard time when she tells you that there are no more “Booths” available because of reduced capacity? I am sure you all follow every regulation when you are at the bars watching football on Sundays?

  12. caycue says:
    October 8, 2020 at 1:36 pm
    Forfeit vs Bills could potentially be unfair to other AFC teams when it comes down to playoff seeding. Taking picks away and fines punishes just the team and doesn’t leave any collateral damage.

    As a Bills fan, I totally agree!

  13. Fines, suspensions, Loss of draft picks and just for grins schedule the Titans to play every other Thursday night following a Sunday game next year.

  14. Literally the one punishment not mentioned that would hurt the most is forfeiting games.

    Hit the them where it hurts most, in the win/loss column.

  15. NFL can’t forfeit this week’s game and not last week’s. What’s the difference? Steelers got screwed out of their normal bye week for same Tennessee crap, they should get the same reward as the Bills!!!

  16. Well if they forfeit what people seem to or realize is the league doesnt have to award the Bills or any of their opponents with a win just a loss in the standings for the titans and then winning percentage used(like it already is). Its not ideal but no scenario is. That said even if they do that the Titans also have to lose draft picks and monumental fines because you have to set a precedent.

  17. A forfeit to the Bills would be a gift to the Bills, but why penalize the Bills and the Steelers by rescheduling games that have to be made up due to the Titans’ refusal to abide by the rules? It only takes one team to screw up the whole league in this already bizarre year.

  18. chief4ever says:
    October 8, 2020 at 2:28 pm
    Fines, suspensions, Loss of draft picks and just for grins schedule the Titans to play every other Thursday night following a Sunday game next year.

    That would be cruel and unusual punishment to the NFL fans.

  19. As a Bills fan I want to see them play and be tested this weekend. If it becomes a forfeit I understand it, but I’d rather see the game and have the team grow from the game.

    As for Steelers getting a forfeit too, I don’t agree as that game was rescheduled, however if it’s proven the Titans we’re doing illegal workouts leading up to the Steelers game then that should be a forfeit too

  20. The Titans should be giving their first round pick to the Steelers and their second round to the Bills

  21. Zero draft picks in 2021 and lose a chunk of salary cap money. That only affects them and no one else.

  22. doctorrustbelt says:
    October 8, 2020 at 1:14 pm
    The new england patriots filmed the Cincinnati Bengals signals
    and Cincinnati didn’t get anything.
    ============================

    You.Can’t.Film.Signals.Sent.In.Via.Radio.

  23. So much hysteria over positive tests with no illness or symptoms to speak of. Do I live in China? The mass media continues it’s one sided ways.

  24. If they forefit, the Bills get a W for a game they didn’t play and an extra bye week, which is unfair to any team they beat if they sneak into the playoffs on a tiebreaker or by 1 game, especially while the Steelers get no bye week from practicing all of last week for a game that was canceled only 3 days beforehand. Make the Titans play the Bills with their practice squad and any free agents they can find, and take away all of their draft picks for 2021 so they don’t benefit from any losses in the W-L column that result from this. Oh and fine them 8 or even 9 figures.

  25. Loss of first round draft picks is significant punishment. You feel that for years. Fines are newsworthy, but doesn’t really affect the team. Every owner is a billionaire, and its just a tax deduction. An owner or GM gets suspended – they just work from home.
    Draft picks hit home.

  26. Steeler fan here and I think the punishment should be the same as whatever coaches who broke mask protocols on the sidelines. Nothing more. Anyone breaking protocol could get Covid-19, Titans just happened to be the ones that did. Let’s not act like other teams didn’t break protocol. No need to drop the hammer. If you are going to punish, every team should know what the punishment is before hand not after. NFLs fault for not letting everyone know the consequences before hand.

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