NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee General Manager Jon Robinson made a plea Thursday for people to get the “life-saving” COVID-19 vaccination as the Titans’ virus outbreak grew to nine, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

“We’ve had two people that I know personally that have lost loved ones over the last couple of days to COVID from symptoms and complications,” Robinson said. “And it’s a lifesaving vaccine.”

Robinson said Tannehill, tight end Geoff Swaim and linebacker Justin March-Lillard joined four other players on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

That makes three Titans starters out. Coach Mike Vrabel revealed Thursday afternoon on a Zoom session with reporters that special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman also has been affected, missing the past two days of work, and likely Saturday night’s preseason finale against Chicago.

Robinson said the Titans are close to being either 97% or 98% vaccinated or with antibodies present, indicating a person recently or previously had COVID-19. Tannehill said at the start of training camp that he was in the process of being vaccinated.

Vrabel announced Sunday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 a day after the Titans beat Tampa Bay 34-3 in Florida following two days of joint practices with the Bucs. He later received monoclonal antibodies treatment.


He said Thursday he is proud of the team’s vaccination rate and that being vaccinated appears to have helped ease symptoms both for himself and Tennessee players.

“It is important because there is no fail safe,” Vrabel said. “We’ve proven that. All we can try to do is maximize our ability to stay safe, to function as a team, to keep our families safe, to do our jobs and do them well.”

The others on the list include defensive lineman Anthony Rush, linebackers Harold Landry and Nick Dzubnar and running back Jeremy McNichols. The reserve/COVID-19 list is for players who either test positive for the virus or are in quarantine after close contact with an infected person.

BILLS: Receiver Isaiah McKenzie revealed he faces NFL discipline for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players by failing to wear a mask inside the team’s facility.

McKenzie wrote: “They got me! @NFL you win!” in a social media post in which he included a copy of the first page of a letter he received from the league informing him of the violation. It was McKenzie’s second violation; the league issued him a warning on July 27, a day before the Bills opened training camp.

Under league rules, the first offense for violating the protocols will result in a fine of $14,650. Repeat violations could result in a player being suspended or fined a week’s salary.


The NFL wrote that McKenzie twice failed to wear a mask on Wednesday. The first violation came while he walked through the team’s fieldhouse to the trainer’s room, and the second was later in the day while he was in a meeting area of the weight room near other players. The league also noted his violation came shortly after NFL staff made a presentation reminding players of the mask-wearing requirements and that penalties may result to players who fail to do so.

His violation comes days after four unvaccinated players were required to spend at least five days in self-quarantine after being deemed to have close contact with a trainer who tested positive for COVID-19.

Receivers Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis, and defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Vernon Butler were all placed in the NFL’s five-day cadence, and it’s unclear as to whether they will be able to play Saturday, when the Bills close their preseason schedule hosting Green Bay.

McKenzie’s post led to several Bills players weighing in on social media, with Beasley revealing he was also fined by the NFL for not wearing a mask.

Bills Coach Sean McDermott said he’s done everything he can to convince his players to get vaccinated.

“It’s tough. It’s frustrating. It’s challenging, however you want to say it. But I can’t make the decision for them,” McDermott said before Thursday’s practice.


COLTS: Indianapolis put All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson and Pro Bowl left tackle Eric Fisher on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Fisher has not yet practiced because he is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in January. He’s not expected to play until late September or early October.

Nelson returned to practice Monday after missing three weeks following surgery to remove a bone fragment in his right foot. He was not expected to play in Friday night’s preseason finale at Detroit.

BROWNS: Odell Beckham Jr., who has slowly increased his activities since training camp opened last month, took his first snaps in team drills – a major step in his return from season-ending knee surgery.

Beckham was on the field for a handful of plays in the 11-on-11 period, and the star wide receiver also caught passes in 7-on-7 drills, his most significant work to date. Beckham suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 7 last season against Cincinnati and wasn’t a part of Cleveland’s run to the playoffs. He arrived at camp in phenomenal shape and well ahead of schedule.

DOLPHINS: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and most of the other Miami starters will sit out the team’s exhibition finale Sunday at the Cincinnati Bengals. Several starting offensive linemen will likely see action, Coach Brian Flores said.


“We’ve got to play the game, so we’re not going to rest everybody,” Flores said. “So there will be some guys in there who will get an opportunity. But we’ll try to rest most of the – let’s call them ‘starters.’”

TRADES: The Las Vegas Raiders got help at their banged-up linebacker spot by acquiring Denzel Perryman from the Carolina Panthers.

The Raiders will send a 2022 sixth-round pick to Carolina and get a seventh-rounder in return, along with Perryman.

Las Vegas needed help at linebacker after losing both starter Nicholas Morrow (foot) and backup Javin White (knee) last week to injuries. Coach Jon Gruden said Wednesday that both players were likely “going to be out for a while,” with Morrow’s injury more serious.

• The Panthers acquired place kicker-punter Ryan Santoso from the New York Giants for a conditional 2022 seventh-round draft pick.

BEARS: Chicago waived receiver Javon Wims. A seventh-round draft pick by Chicago in 2018, Wims had 28 receptions for 266 yards and two touchdowns in three seasons.

The NFL suspended Wims for two games in November for punching New Orleans Saints safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson. And in the Bears’ 21-9 playoff loss at New Orleans, Wims dropped a touchdown when he let a pass go right through his arms and bounce off his jersey number after he raced into the end zone behind defenders on a trick play.

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