Titans coach Mike Vrabel said earlier this week that no one is to blame for the team’s outbreak. The NFL is nevertheless looking for someone to blame.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the league and the NFL Players Association are investigating whether the Titans failed to follow the protocols developed jointly by the NFL and the NFLPA.
“This isn’t a failure of the protocols; it is a failure to follow the protocols,” an unnamed source told Schefter.
The investigation reportedly is focused on outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen. Per the report, Bowen “was exposed to individuals who had been exposed” to the virus. The rules require all personnel to report that they were in the presence of someone who has the virus, or to not report for work if that has occurred.
The probe also is exploring whether the Titans were diligent when it comes to wearing masks in the facility. Frankly, based on the constant images of coaches and sideline personnel failing to properly wear masks when in the presence of TV cameras during games, it should surprise no one to learn that mask irregularities have happened and will happen at most if not all team facilities.
Although the NFL-NFLPA protocols are flawed — as previously noted, every team has roughly 170 people who go home every night to the potential for exposure to the virus — those flaws won’t be acknowledged as the cause of the Tennessee outbreak, especially if the Titans can be found to be guilty of things that nearly every team (if not every team) undoubtedly has been doing.
The ultimate message, then, could be that, as long as a team doesn’t have an outbreak, it’s “no harm, no foul.” If, however, teams end up with the virus in their building, the league and the union will find a way to blame the team without ever acknowledging the flaws in the protocols.
NFL, NFLPA explore whether Titans violated protocols originally appeared on Pro Football Talk