NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans opened up training camp on Wednesday with a 90% COVID-19 vaccination rate, according to GM Jon Robinson. It’s unclear whether those are all fully vaccinated players or players with at least one shot, but one player in the process of getting vaccinated is Ryan Tannehill.
The quarterback spoke to the media after practice and said he’s getting vaccinated only because of the NFL’s severe protocols for the unvaccinated.
“I am currently in the process right now,” Tannehill said “The NFL has made it clear what they want to happen. If you don’t fall in line, they’re going to try and make your life miserable because of the protocol.
“I wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine without the protocols that they are enforcing on us. I think it’s a personal decision for each of us. They are trying to force our hands and ultimately have forced a lot of hands by the protocols. It is what it is.”
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) July 28, 2021
Tannehill said he loves the game and his team, so he wanted to get vaccinated to help build chemistry with his teammates in the locker room and cafeteria in addition to on the field. According to Tannehill, the Titans brought doctors and other medical authorities to help educate the players about vaccines.
Despite that educational experience, Tannehill is still not fully comfortable with COVID-19 vaccines. He declined to explain why.
Tannehill wore a mask during the team stretch period to start practice but was not required to wear the mask during practice. Robinson said it is part of new protocols that were instituted last night. Robinson also explained the four categories of players who have been vaccinated.
“There’s a group that is fully vaccinated that has had either the single shot or two shots and has waited for the 14-day acclimation period. The next category of players is one that has been vaccinated, but they are waiting to clear the 14-day period before they are fully vaccinated. There’s a third category where they are in between shots. Then there’s a fourth category where they haven’t been vaccinated,” Robinson explained before practice on Wednesday.
The Titans are encouraging the players to do more research and become more familiar with the vaccination process.
Added coach Mike Vrabel, “We are focused on making sure that we continue to educate our players to let them make the best decision for them and hopefully this football team. It is a personal decision and, hopefully, one that they can come to that will help them and that will help this team.”
Vrabel said he expects the number of vaccinated players to continue to increase but maintains that protocols won’t change as the percentage increases. While some teams have utilized a band to identify unvaccinated players, Vrabel said the Titans aren’t utilizing such identifiers.
The entire Titans coaching staff is fully vaccinated, according to Vrabel. However, the team did place defensive back Chris Jones on the reserve-COVID 19 list before Wednesday’s practice.
D’Andre Swift won’t be limited in Detroit Lions’ season opener vs. San Francisco 49ers
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift, who had been slowed by a groin injury throughout the preseason, is expected to be ready to go with no limitations in Sunday’s season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
Lions coaches had expressed concerns during training camp Swift’s status, as the groin injury limited his participation in practice and preseason games. But the second-year running back was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
“I’m very bad at counting reps,” Lions running backs coach Duce Staley said. “If he’s out there being productive … I don’t know how to take him off.
“I get caught up in the game, he’s gonna get caught up in the game and every good player — every good running back that I know anyway — once he starts feeling it, you don’t want to pull him off. We can count the reps Monday.”
Swift is expected to be the lead back for Detroit this season, with Jamaal Williams set to thrive in a strong complementary role. As a rookie, Swift had 114 carries for 521 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, joining former Lions star Billy Sims (1980) as the only rookies in franchise history to score eight rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns.
Swift also had 46 catches for 357 receiving yards last season.
“When he is available, he’s a weapon,” Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said. “You can do a lot of things with that young man. So I’m looking forward to seeing him go Sunday.”
Baltimore Ravens fear RB Gus Edwards, CB Marcus Peters have torn ACLs, sources say
The Ravens believe Edwards and Peters tore their ACLs during Thursday’s practice, sources tell Schefter. Both players are undergoing testing to confirm the initial diagnosis.
This continues a horrid run of injuries for Baltimore and delivers a major blow to the Ravens’ Super Bowl aspirations.
Edwards becomes the third running back to suffer a season-ending injury in a span of 12 days. J.K. Dobbins tore his ACL in the preseason finale on Aug. 28, and Justice Hill hurt his Achilles on Sept. 9.
Ty’Son Williams, a practice player from a year ago who doesn’t have an NFL carry, becomes the Ravens’ lead back. The other two running backs on the roster — Trenton Cannon and Le’Veon Bell (practice squad) — only started practicing with the Ravens on Wednesday.
The loss of Peters would represent the most significant injury to the defense this year. The Ravens have depth at cornerback, but it will be difficult to replace Peters’ playmaking ability. His 31 interceptions lead the NFL since he entered the league in 2015.
The Ravens open the season at the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football.
New Orleans Saints complete trade with Houston Texans for CB Bradley Roby, sources say
The New Orleans Saints have finalized their trade for cornerback Bradley Roby, sending a 2022 third-round draft pick and a 2023 conditional pick to the Houston Texans, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
In order to facilitate a trade to the Saints, the Texans converted $7.6 million of Roby’s base salary into a signing bonus, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates. When Roby officially gets traded to New Orleans, his base salary for 2021 is now $1,862,645, which fits into the Saints’ salary-cap space.
Roby was a first-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 2014. He spent the past two years in Houston and has started 49 career games with 10 interceptions.
The 29-year-old Roby is entering the second year of a three-year, $31.5 million extension that he signed with the Texans last year. He will miss the first game of the season, however, as part of a six-game suspension that began in 2020 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The Saints have identified cornerback as a “must-fill” position ever since they released former starter Janoris Jenkins in March as part of a massive salary-cap purge and then lost one potential starting contender, Patrick Robinson, to a surprise retirement early in training camp. They even attempted to trade up nearly 20 spots in the NFL draft to land top prospects Jaycee Horn or Pat Surtain II.
New Orleans signed veteran Desmond Trufant on Monday to compete with Ken Crawley and rookie Paulson Adebo for the No. 2 starting cornerback job across from Pro Bowler Marshon Lattimore. However, Roby now becomes the front-runner to lock down that job following his suspension.
ESPN’s Mike Triplett contributed to this report.