Isaiah Wilson’s rough start to his Titans career just got even rougher as Buck Reising of AtoZ Sports reported this morning that Wilson was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol late Friday night.
The team is aware of the incident and told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that they are “working through the details of how to proceed”.
Let’s start with the fact that Wilson was already on the reserve/COVID list — for the second time — and currently isn’t practicing or allowed in team facilities. Obviously, we don’t know whether Wilson landed on the COVID list because he contracted COVID or because he was around someone that had it. I also think it’s unfair to assume that anyone who contracts COVID, did so because of reckless behavior.
That being said, Wilson being cited for attending a party at TSU last month (shortly after his first stint on the COVID list) and this DUI incident certainly don’t tell the tale of a guy who is doing everything he can to avoid crowds and protect the health of the team.
The DUI itself is obviously a big problem, but even more troubling is the pattern of decision making that we’ve seen from Wilson over the past month and a half. It’s one thing to be a rookie offensive lineman struggling a bit to adjust to an NFL offense. That’s understandable — expected even — but to put the entire team at risk of having a COVID outbreak because you can’t stay away from parties… well, that’s just selfish and irresponsible.
I think Wilson is a smart, thoughtful guy based on every interview I’ve ever heard him give. My guess is that he knows he screwed up and probably feels terrible about it, but the team has to be fed up with this pattern of behavior and I’d imagine there is a “come to Jesus” meeting coming with Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel.
It also seems like a good time for some of the leaders in the offensive line room — and the Titans have some good ones in Ben Jones, Rodger Saffold, and Taylor Lewan — to put their arm around the 21-year old rookie and help get him back on the right track.
From a Titans standpoint, this won’t have a huge impact on the field in the short term. I would expect Wilson to receive a suspension from the NFL — three games is reportedly the new baseline for DUI arrests — but it’s not like he was going to be playing either way right now.
It’s still way too early to write Wilson’s career off. He’s 21 years old and has yet to play an NFL game. However, this feels like a fork in the road moment for him. Either he takes this as the wake up call he clearly needs and learns what it takes to be a professional football player or he finds himself out of the league in a few years.