Report: Sentiment Among NFL Teams Titans Should Forfeit vs. Bills After Outbreak

Report: Sentiment Among NFL Teams Titans Should Forfeit vs. Bills After Outbreak

Jim Mone/Associated Press

A lot of Torrey Smith‘s former colleagues apparently agree with the retired NFL wide receiver.

Smith tweeted Thursday morning the Tennessee Titans should have to forfeit Sunday’s scheduled game against the Buffalo Bills because of their COVID-19 outbreak.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, along with ESPN’s Ed Werder and Chris Mortensen, reported the sentiment is shared by others inside the league: 

Matt Miller @nfldraftscout

A lot of chatter the NFL could make the Titans forfeit this game as a punishment for violating Covid protocols.

Ed Werder @WerderEdESPN

Lot of this sentiment in the league.

Chris Mortensen @mortreport

Then @Bills players would not be paid game check under revised COVID-19 terms.
It’s hot-button topic players are discussing among each other.
Roster sizes, game-day actives, IR modifications and COVID-19 designations were among conditions put into place to avoid this scenario

The NFL already pushed back Tennessee’s scheduled Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers to Week 7 after the team registered a number of positive tests.

Under the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Titans players were prohibited from practicing together until it was deemed safe to do so. However, longtime NFL reporter Paul Kuharsky, who is based in Tennessee, reported a group of players held an informal workout at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville.

Paul Kuharsky @PaulKuharskyNFL

Source: 5:20 pm CT Sept. 30, #Titans DBs worked out at Belmont.

Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported commissioner Roger Goodell shared other examples of violations by the franchise in a call with general managers:

“The GMs said a portion of the slides showed Titans players congregating inside the team’s facility without proper PPE [personal protective equipment]. Photos of a charity event hosted by Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller were also part of the slides. ESPN previously reported that Waller and nine teammates were fined a total of $165,000 for violating safety protocols during the gathering.”

The optics of the workout look worse as the team is still seeing more positive tests. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Thursday morning that one new player was flagged for a positive result and another had an inconclusive test. Adam Schefter of ESPN noted the Titans have had 23 positive tests since Sept. 23.

The NFL issued a memo Monday to all 32 teams that outlined the possible consequences of violations in the COVID-19 protocols. Forfeiture of games is one of the options on the table for Goodell.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus weighed in with an alternative:

Drew Rosenhaus @RosenhausSports

the NFL should add two open weeks at the end of the regular season to get in postponed games. This would add bye weeks for teams with postponed games. Players will get paid for the bye. The season will end after 17 weeks for teams who played all 16 games & aren’t in the playoffs

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported a “historic” punishment could be in store for Tennessee. Kuharsky questioned whether the league could make the Titans forfeit this week’s matchup since their infractions came before the memo.

According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the NFL is considering moving the game to Monday or Tuesday, which would require bumping Buffalo’s Thursday night encounter with the Kansas City Chiefs to Saturday.

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