With quarterback Ryan Tannehill, tight end Geoff Swaim and linebacker Justin March-Lillard joining four other players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Tennessee general manager Jon Robinson confirmed that the Titans' virus outbreak grew to nine.
Currently, Titans have three of their starters ruled out. Coach Mike Vrabel revealed Thursday afternoon on a Zoom session with reporters that special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman also has been affected, missing the past two days of work, and likely missing Saturday night's preseason finale against Chicago (1-1).
Meanwhile, the Titans General Manager Jon Robinson said the team is close to being either 97% or 98% vaccinated or with antibodies present, indicating a person recently or previously had COVID-19.
'Before being placed on the COVID reserve list, Tannehill said that he was in the process of being vaccinated.
Vrabel announced Sunday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 a day after the Titans beat Tampa Bay 34-3 in Florida following two days of joint practices with the Bucs. He later received monoclonal antibodies treatment.
He said Thursday he is proud of the team's vaccination rate and that being vaccinated appears to have helped ease symptoms both for himself and Tennessee players.
Tennessee stepped up precautions and required masks inside the team’s headquarters starting Tuesday. Robinson said the Titans are going “above and beyond” what they did last season when they had the NFL’s first virus outbreak.
“We’ve had two people that I know personally that have lost loved ones over the last couple of days to COVID from symptoms and complications," Robinson said. “And it’s a lifesaving vaccine.”
The number of positive COVID-19 cases have been rising in both Florida and Tennessee. NFL and NFL Players Association protocols require two negative tests over 48 hours for someone who tested positive can return or face a 10-day minimum quarantine.
With inputs from the Associated Press