The Titans have nine players and coaches out of the building because of COVID-19 protocols. Not all of the seven players on the COVID-19 reserve list tested positive, according to Ben Arthur of The Tennessean, disputing an earlier report.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill and coach Mike Vrabel tested positive, the team previously announced. Special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman also is in the protocol, Vrabel said Thursday, so he, too, tested positive since all coaches are required to be vaccinated. (Vaccinated individuals do not have to isolate as a high-risk close contact under NFL protocols.)
Tight end Geoff Swaim, linebacker Justin March-Lillard, running back Jeremy McNichols, linebacker Nick Dzubnar, linebacker Harold Landry and defensive tackle Anthony Rush are the other Titans on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Vaccinated individuals who test positive can return after a pair of negative tests at least 24 hours apart. Vrabel has not had a negative test yet.
But he hopes everyone will return in time for the regular season.
“As far as a timing perspective, we do have time,” Vrabel said, via Jim Wyatt of the team website. “There is a very real possibility we’ll have all those guys back and healthy and ready to help us win and perform.”
General Manager Jon Robinson said Thursday that the Titans are now 97 to 98 percent vaccinated or with antibodies.
“The vaccine, I believe, made the symptoms, in my specific case, less,” Vrabel said. “And I think that is also the case, from what I’ve heard, from our other players.”
The Titans will start Matt Barkley at quarterback in the preseason finale Sunday, and he will split series with fellow back-up Logan Woodside, Vrabel said.