The Titans are headed back to Saint Thomas Sports Park today for the first time since the COVID outbreak started (feels like a month ago, but actually just two weeks) after receiving test results with no new positive cases for the second straight day, per Tom Pelissero.
Returning to the building is obviously a huge first step towards actually having their game against the Bills on Tuesday night in Nissan Stadium. Tennessee could get a light practice in today, a more normal practice tomorrow, and then a walk through on Monday in what would be at least something close to a normal week of prep work for Buffalo.
As for who we can expect to see on the field Tuesday… the Titans estimated practice reports this week have listed everyone as a full participant — including Taylor Lewan (shoulder) and Chris Jackson (hamstring) — with the lone exception of A.J. Brown, who was listed as limited both days with the bone bruise in his knee that kept him out against Jacksonville and Minnesota. Brown is, however, expected to play according to this previous report by Ian Rapoport.
We still don’t know about Adoree’ Jackson’s availability. The Titans top corner remains on IR, but is eligible to return at any time now. Of course, the team has had no reason to pull him off IR since they haven’t been practicing for two weeks, but if he’s healthy, I’d expect that move to happen as soon as today when they return to their facilities.
Of course injuries are just part of the story for the Titans. They also have 14 players currently listed on the reserve/COVID list. However, there is at least a chance that they could see some of these players start to come off the list and return to practice soon. The Falcons A.J. Terrell, who tested positive on September 26th, was activated yesterday back to the active roster just 12 days after the initial positive test.
Please hear me when I say that all of these cases are likely to be different and there is no set standard for return from COVID-19, but if you want to say Terrell’s case at least sets a precedent for what is possible, that’s a good way to look at it. With that in mind, the Titans players currently on the COVID list would reach 12 days from date of initial test (reports of tests come one day after the test itself):
- DaQuan Jones: Saturday, October 10th (tomorrow)
- Beau Brinkley: Saturday, October 10th (tomorrow)
- Tommy Hudson: Saturday, October 10th (tomorrow)
- Kamalei Correa: Sunday, October 11th
- Kristian Fulton: Monday, October 12th
- Adam Humphries: Tuesday, October 13th
- Cameron Batson: Tuesday, October 13th
- Jeffery Simmons: Wednesday, October 14th
- Khari Blasingame: Friday, October 16th
- Corey Davis: Sunday, October 18th
- MyCole Pruitt: Sunday, October 18th
- Breon Borders: Monday, October 19th
Obviously, both Isaiah Wilson and Greg Mabin have already passed the 12 day mark and should have a chance to come off the COVID list this week too.
In theory, this would give Jones, Brinkley, Correa, and Fulton a chance to play against the Bills if their recovery progresses in a similar timeline to that of Terrell’s.
There is also a chance that asymptomatic players could return faster than 12 days. League protocols require just 5 days between the initial positive test and an asymptomatic player returning to play. That timeline would give all of these players a shot at returning for Buffalo.
I would not get my hopes up too high for a full squad though. The odds of all seven players who are outside of the 12-day window being asymptomatic are low. However, it does seem likely that at least a few of these players may be able to return to play on Tuesday night.
We should learn a lot more about who could be back when (if) the Titans return to practice on Saturday.