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The NFL has reportedly fined the Titans $350,000 for violating COVID-19 protocols, according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The fine is the conclusion of the NFL and NFL Players Association’s joint investigation, which was spurred by the weeks-long outbreak on the Titans that led to 24 players, coaches and staff members testing positive.
Titans avoid more serious punishment
Rapoport and Pelissero reported that the Titans were found to have violated the rules on wearing face coverings, and did not clearly communicate the rules about holding workouts outside of team facilities. A few Titans players were seen working out at a local high school football field after the team facility was shut down due to the outbreak, which is not allowed. No individual players, coaches or staff members were singled out for punishment.
There were more severe punishments on the table. The NFL announced earlier in the season that teams could face the loss of draft picks or the forfeiture of games for violating COVID-19 protocols, especially if those violations required games to be rescheduled. The Titans’ outbreak threw the NFL’s carefully crafted schedule into chaos, but the NFL apparently decided that fines were enough. The Titans will face more serious discipline if they break the rules again.
Raiders could face fines next
The NFL and NFLPA have reportedly found some punishable violations on the Las Vegas Raiders, who placed six players on the reserve/COVID-19 list last week, including right tackle Trent Brown and their four other starting offensive linemen.
Brown was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, and then contact tracing led the Raiders to place Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, Denzelle Good and Kolton Miller on the list as well. The NFL and NFLPA reportedly found that Brown hadn’t been wearing the electronic contact tracing device that players are required to wear, and the five of them gathered without wearing masks.
If the Raiders are punished for these violations, it wouldn’t be the first time. They were already fined after head coach Jon Gruden didn’t wear a mask on the sideline in the early season, and a number of players were fined for showing up to a charity event without masks.
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