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Front Page - Friday, August 14, 2020

Virus lurks as Titans put laptops away, hit preseason practice field

Titans QB Ryan Tannehill and his teammates are moving from Zoom to the practice field. - Photo by Teresa Walker | Zoom via AP

Beginning Friday, it will be time to start taking notice of the Titans.

That’s because the ramping-up period will come to an end, and the team will take to the field for its first official training camp practice amid the COVID-19 regulations and stipulations that will be in place.

Already, this offseason was different from any other due to Zoom meetings and virtual sessions replacing in-person on-site OTAs and minicamps.

Now, the NFL and the Titans get to see if this great experiment and being disciplined and even lucky enough to avoid a virus outbreak will work.

The NFL has seen how the NBA and NHL have found success in a bubble. Likewise, they have seen the lessons learned early on by the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals in baseball when the coronavirus invades a locker room.

“Honestly, I feel like the NFL, or at least the Titans, don’t know what every other team is doing, but the Titans are trying to do their best and we’re trying to do our best to make sure everybody’s safe. It’s a crazy world right now,” safety Kevin Byard says. “You can catch the COVID walking to the grocery store, getting gas, anywhere. I think that we all just have to make sure that we’re all taking the precautions, washing my hands, wearing a mask, and that’s everybody. We can’t control what other guys do outside of the building, but we can at least try to talk to each other and try to make sure that we are just trying to protect each other.”

Byard adds that if the Titans want to reach their goal of being one of the league’s elite teams, then that starts right now not only preparing for on the field, but staying in check off it.

“At the end of the day, the safest teams and the healthiest team this year is going to be the one that’s going to be playing in January and February,” Byard says. “We can only control what we can control. Different sports whether it’s basketball, NHL, baseball, they all have different ways of going about things, but as far as us as a team, we’re trying to do our best.”

-- Terry McCormick