Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing was arrested for DUI early Friday. The team has issued a statement regarding the situation.
“We are aware of the reports regarding Todd Downing and are in the process of gathering additional information,” the team said.
The reports are based on objective fact. He was arrested for DUI. He’s entitled to every presumption and protection under the law.
Still, the situation raises plenty of questions, starting with when and where Downing was drinking. If, as it appears, the team plane landed at 2:11 a.m. CT and, per the police report, he was pulled over at 3:49 a.m. CT, the timeline does little to counter the perception that he was drinking on the team plane.
We’ve asked the Titans to confirm that the team returned on a Delta flight from Green Bay that landed in Nashville at 2:11 a.m. CT. That question has not yet been answered.
Other questions need to be asked. We’ve asked the league for the policy regarding alcohol on team planes. It’s funny when Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke has a can of Busch beer in his hand while wearing a bunch of chains on his neck. But it’s tragic when former Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid severely and permanently injures a five-year-old girl on the way home from the team facility, where he apparently had been drinking to excess.
Whatever the rules regarding alcohol on team planes or in team facilities may be, the NFL needs to be ready to enforce them whenever they’re broken. Even as it derives significant annual revenue from the league’s official beer, wine, and spirits sponsors.