The timeline doesn’t look good. The NFL is looking into it.
With Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing arrested early Friday for DUI, it’s possible that Downing was drinking on the team plane back from Green Bay.
“There is a policy that prohibits alcohol on team planes or buses,” Chief NFL Spokesman Brian McCarthy said via email on Friday.
“We have been in contact with the Titans regarding the matter which will be reviewed,” McCarthy added. “All league and club personnel, including coaches, are subject to potential discipline when a violation is determined to have been committed.”
Downing was pulled over at 3:49 a.m. CT. It appears that the team plane landed at 2:11 a.m. CT at the Nashville airport. Any investigation by the league will have to explore where he drank enough alcohol before 3:49 a.m. CT to be allegedly above the legal limit of 0.08 percent BAC.
If the Titans took a bus from the airport to the team facility, and if Downing was driving home from the facility when he was arrested, it will be very difficult to construct a set of facts that included Downing not drinking on the plane, on the bus, or both.
Given the crash involving former Chiefs assistant Britt Reid on the way home from the team facility in February 2021, the league needs to take these situations seriously. Beyond being a question of liability, it’s an issue of basic responsibility to the communities where NFL teams operate.