Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel tests positive for COVID-19

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Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel announced Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Vrabel revealed the news on a Zoom call with media. He said he woke up Sunday morning with a sore throat and an earache, so he went to get tested at the Titans' facility.

From his car, he took two tests, both of which came back positive for COVID-19. Vrabel said he was also expecting that a PCR test he will take later Sunday will come back positive.

Vrabel added that he is currently in quarantine. Like all Titans coaches who work with players, he is fully vaccinated.

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel looks on during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel looks on during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.

The Titans played the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday night. During the teams' joint practices last week, Vrabel was seen chatting face-to-face with players on both teams, including his former New England Patriots teammate Tom Brady. Tennessee won 34-3.

An outbreak that infected more than 20 members of the Titans organization forced the postponement of two games (Week 4 and Week 5) last season.

Under the NFL's updated COVID-19 guidelines for the 2021 season, Vrabel's understanding is that he can return to work after two negative tests in a 48-hour span or a 10-day quarantine.

"I'm very confident in our football team, our coaching staff, our organization that no matter what the situation is, we'll handle it and we'll make every decision that's in the best interest of the football team and our players," Vrabel said.

Vrabel said he's still working through how the team will operate while he's away. He's anticipating staying involved via Zoom.

He added that he could lean on some of the veteran coaches on his staff – special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman, senior defensive assistant Jim Schwartz and inside linebackers coach Jim Haslett among them – to help keep the team's operation running smoothly.

"So there's a lot of guys that we can lean on in that capacity," Vrabel said. "But right now, I'm going to work through a lot of those things. We don't go out onto the practice field until (Monday). (Sunday), my focus was on the corrections of the film and watching that and also the health of our football team and some of the roster things that Jon (Robinson, general manager) and I have talked through."

Vrabel said the Titans' experience of going through the NFL's first COVID-19 outbreak last season will be helpful in getting through the current situation.

"We've been through this," Vrabel continued. "The most important thing is that we focus on everyone's health, we focus on everyone's family's health, everyone close to them. So that's really important to me. We're going to be fine and we'll figure this thing out, but the health of everyone involved is what's most important."

Vrabel joked that his players will enjoy a few days away from him, as they look toward their preseason finale against the Chicago Bears next Saturday.

"I'm going to get a boat and I'm going to put a boat out there on Lake Amulet and just float around and be able to yell," Vrabel said.

"I'll miss it. That football team is a part of my family, is a part of my life and a part of my heart. So I'll miss them."

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans coach, tests positive for coronavirus