NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Coach Mike Vrabel says the Tennessee Titans stand by how they’ve followed the NFL’s protocols for the coronavirus pandemic and hope the league will allow the team back inside the building Wednesday.

The NFL’s first team to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak has had a couple of what Vrabel called “really good days” with testing, and the coach said they’re hoping for more good news early Wednesday.

“And then we’ll kind of see where we’re at with the league and hopeful to return and get back in the building,” Vrabel said.

If allowed back inside the team’s headquarters Wednesday, that would keep the Titans (3-0) on target to host Buffalo (4-0) on Sunday in a matchup of two of the NFL’s six remaining undefeated teams.

The NFL and its players union had people in Nashville meeting with the Titans to review how the team handled the outbreak and checking protocols. The Titans, and any other team with an outbreak or exposed to a team with an outbreak, now have new protocols to follow.

Vrabel said the Titans followed the protocols that were in place and that both he and General Manager Jon Robinson put a lot of thought into doing just that.

“We’re going to continue to do everything that we can to make sure as we enter back in this building, that things are safe and the players are comfortable and that their health and well-being is at the forefront,” Vrabel said.

The Titans’ outbreak reached 20 cases on Sunday, the team’s sixth straight day of at least one positive, with 18 returned since Sept. 29. The players testing positive include defensive captain DaQuan Jones, defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, wide receiver Adam Humphries, rookie cornerback Kristian Fulton and long snapper Beau Brinkley.

Vrabel said those players have to follow a protocol to be cleared to return to play, keeping them out of Sunday’s game with the Bills. But Vrabel is hopeful they’ll get most of the personnel affected back, and any coaches still not cleared to return won’t have a role in the game.

RAIDERS: The Las Vegas Raiders have placed defensive tackle Maurice Hurst on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Hurst is the first Raiders player placed on the list since the start of the regular season. The list is used for players who either test positive for the coronavirus or have been in close contact with an infected person.

Hurst didn’t attend the charity function last week that led the NFL to fine 10 Raiders players for their conduct at the event that violated COVID-19 protocols.

Hurst leads the Raiders this season with five quarterback pressures, according to SportRadar.

DOLPHINS: Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain Miami’s starting quarterback for at least another week, further delaying the NFL debut of Tua Tagovailoa.

The Dolphins announced Tuesday on Twitter that Fitzpatrick will get the nod Sunday at San Francisco. The disclosure ended speculation Coach Brian Flores was about to turn the offense over to Tagovailoa, drafted with the fifth overall pick as a potential franchise quarterback.

“I’ve been around Fitz for a long time, and I’ve seen him play very, very well,” said Miami offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who was Fitzpatrick’s head coach in Buffalo. “He is capable of being very good for us.”

The 37-year-old Fitzpatrick recently described his career as a roller coaster, and that has been the case this season with Miami (1-3). In two games he has totaled four touchdown passes and no interceptions, and in the other two games — including Sunday’s loss to Seattle — he has thrown for no scores with five interceptions.

Against the Seahawks, Miami settled for field goals on five consecutive scoring drives, but Gailey declined to blame Fitzpatrick.

“If you want to point fingers, you ought to point them at me,” Gailey said, “because I could have done a better job of red-zone coaching this past week, and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”


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