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Roger Goodell: Titans investigation focused on safety, not punishment

The NFL might not punish the Titans for their numerous COVID-19 positives as the league continues to grapple with the most effective way to reinforce coronavirus safety precautions.

PFT reported Monday that ultimately the Titans could get a pass for the team’s outbreak of COVID-19.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seemed to confirm that in a Tuesday conference call, saying the league is focused on safety measures and possible changes to protocols rather than handing down punishment.

“We have all been working -- the Players Association, our medical experts, our outside experts, the Tennessee Titans, every other club involved -- just to continue to put the protocols in place and ensure that modifying protocols if they need clarity, they need changes, and working to just keep our personnel safe,” Goodell said. “That includes personnel and players, coaches, our team operations personnel. That focus has really been working well. We are really working closely in identifying and speaking to clubs and players and open dialogue. This is not about discipline. This is about making sure we’re keeping our personnel safe. That’s been our entire focus to date.”

The Titans have had 13 players and 11 other personnel test positive since September 24 and most of those have come since they last played a game in Week Three. The Titans had their Week Four game against the Steelers postponed to later in the season, and they play the Bills tonight in a rescheduled game.

It originally was believed the league would hammer the Titans. It now appears that may not happen.

“I would say that we’ve learned a lot from each of these situations,” said NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills. “We’ve had great communication, certainly everyone on the end of the Titans has been very cooperative with us and has been very forthcoming in trying to help us understand that situation. But that’s a situation also that could happen to any of our clubs in that this virus is out there. It’s endemic and as we’ve said before if we’re not completely vigilant at all times, that’s the only opening that this virus needs.”