Friends as playoff foes: Packers' LaFleur faces Rams' McVay
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur and Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay say their friendship and shared history shouldn't have much of an impact on their teams’ upcoming NFC divisional playoff matchup. The top-seeded Packers (13-3) host the Rams (11-6) on Saturday with an NFC championship game berth at stake. San Francisco’s head coach is Kyle Shanahan, who worked at Washington with Matt LaFleur and McVay from 2010-13. LaFleur was the quarterbacks coach on Quinn’s Atlanta staff from 2015-16 and worked for Mike Vrabel at Tennessee in 2018. They reunited in 2017 when McVay became the Rams’ head coach and hired LaFleur.
Column: Smith-Schuster fires up foes through jigs and digs
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)Say this about Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster: he sure knows how to fire up foes through jigs and digs alike. He said he thought “they’re still the same Browns teams I play every year” and while they had talent, “the Browns is the Browns." The Browns snapped their 17-game losing streak at Heinz Field with their first road playoff win since 1969. “That turns you up a little bit,” Buffalo safety Jordan Power said after the Bills’ 26-15 win over Pittsburgh in Week 14. “For the betterment of myself and my teammates, I’m going to stop dancing on the logos,” Smith-Schuster declared after that loss to Cincinnati.
AP Exclusive: Titans' ownership staying in Adams family
FILE- In this Oct. 21, 2018, file photo, Amy Adams Strunk, the controlling owner of the Tennessee Titans, smiles before an NFL football game against Los Angeles Chargers at Wembley stadium in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)Ownership of the Tennessee Titans is remaining with the Adams family with Susie Adams Smith agreeing to sell her share of the team to the family-controlled KSA Industries Inc.Amy Adams Strunk will hold a 50% share with the other 50% held by Kenneth Adams IV, Barclay Adams and Susan Lewis. Those three will continue as owners of the Titans with Adams Strunk continuing as controlling owner in a sale expected to be completed by the end of this year. “The Titans franchise has meant so much to me and my family over the 61 years of its existence,” Adams Strunk said in a statement to The Associated Press. Initially, after Bud Adams' death, the family installed Susie Adams Smith as controlling owner and made her husband Tommy Smith team president.
Mayfield throws 4 TDs in 1st half, Browns beat Titans 41-35
The Browns had their best-scoring half ever, leading 38-7 at halftime, topping the 35 points scored in the second half at Cincinnati in 2004. The Titans made it interesting late, outscoring the Browns 28-3 in the second half. Mayfield became the first Browns quarterback to throw four TDs in the first half since Hall of Famer Otto Graham in 1951. That’s the guy that the Cleveland Browns know who he is. Tennessee opened the second half scoring back-to-back touchdowns within the first six minutes.
Colts grab AFC South tiebreaker by beating Titans 34-17
Philip Rivers threw for 308 yards and a touchdown, and Nyheim Hines scored twice as the Colts trounced the Titans 34-17 Thursday night to grab the head-to-head edge atop the AFC South. The Colts (6-3) will host the rematch in Indianapolis on Nov. 29 after helping coach Frank Reich improve to 4-1 against Titans coach Mike Vrabel. The Colts smothered a Tennessee offense that had been averaging 384.6 yards per game, 10th-best in the league, and ranked seventh averaging 29 points. Indianapolis took advantage of the Titans' special teams woes to score twice in the third quarter for a 27-17 lead. The Colts used a lot of no-huddle to put Rivers in control of the offense and take advantage of a struggling Titans defense.
Seahawks keep top spot in AP Pro32; Steelers, Titans move up
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)NEW YORK – As the NFC's only 5-0 team, the Seattle Seahawks had a quiet week on a bye. However, the Seahawks didn't lose any ground and maintained the top spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll. The Seahawks received nine of 12 first-place votes for 377 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL. The Chiefs earned two first-place votes for 366 points, while the loss dropped the Bills one spot to No. 3 and the Tennessee Titans, the league's other 5-0 team, received the remaining first-place vote and gained two places to No.
AP source: No talk of individual punishment for Titans
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the NFL, the NFL Players Association nor the Titans have commented on the review. “This is not about discipline," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week when asked about potential punishment for the Titans. The Titans' facility was shut down Sept. 29 after eight positive tests. The review says the Titans cooperated fully with the “comprehensive” look into how the team had been following protocols. Titans players worked out Sept. 30 in groups including at a private Nashville high school.
Seahawks gain top spot in AP Pro32 poll
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson passes against the Minnesota Vikings late in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)NEW YORK – For the first time this season, there's a new top team in the AP Pro32 poll. The Seattle Seahawks have vaulted all the way to the No. The Seahawks, the league's only 5-0 team, inched up a place after rallying for a 27-26 victory on Sunday night against Minnesota. The Browns head to Pittsburgh this week in one of the top matchups of Week 6.
Bills-Titans, Broncos-Patriots rescheduled by NFL
FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2020, file photo, members of the Tennessee Titans take part in the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, in Minneapolis. The NFL also is rescheduling Sunday’s Broncos-Patriots game from Sunday to Monday at 5 p.m. EDT as part of an ESPN doubleheader. The Titans' outbreak increased to 23 Thursday with tight end MyCole Pruitt and a defensive back from the practice squad put on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday afternoon. The Titans' facility remains closed with the team still prohibited from any in-person activities. Sills noted they wanted to learn how to improve and the NFL already has made a number of changes.
NFL looking at "several" protocol incidents with Titans
FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2020, file photo, members of the Tennessee Titans take part in the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, in Minneapolis. The Titans had no positive tests Monday or Tuesday for the first time after six consecutive days of positive results. The Titans cannot return to their facility before Saturday at the earliest, needing back-to-back days without a positive test result. Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Tuesday any discipline would be something for the NFL to discuss. Both Sills and Dr. Thom Mayer, the NFL Players Association's medical director, said the key is everyone following the protocols.
Vrabel says Titans hope NFL allows them to return 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. 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’ outbreak reached 20 cases on Sunday, the team’s sixth straight day of at least one positive, with 18 returned since Sept. 29. “ I’m not even thinking about that.”The Titans' outbreak also affected the Baltimore Ravens, who now will have a bye Week 7 instead of playing Pittsburgh. The NFL and the players union agreed Oct. 2 to continue daily testing, and they both agreed to ramp up health and safety procedures in the wake of the Titans' outbreak.
NFL reschedules Steelers-Titans, Ravens' bye now Week 7
The Titans' outbreak expanded by two more players testing positive Friday, pushing the team's total to 14 within the past week. The outbreak forced the NFL to postpone Tennessee's game from Sunday to Oct. 25 in Week 7, forcing the Steelers into their unplanned bye. Pittsburgh now will play Baltimore on Nov. 1 with the Ravens' bye now pushed to Week 7 instead of Week 8, which had been the bye for both teams. But another positive test result Thursday led to the postponement and Friday's rescheduling. Each new positive test requires the team’s infectious control officer to track down everyone in contact with those people.
NFL postpones Steelers-Titans after 2 more positive tests
Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans, is shown Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL says three Titans players and five personnel tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The NFL postponed Sunday's Pittsburgh Steelers game at Tennessee until later in the season after one additional Titans player and one personnel member tested positive for COVID-19. Coach Mike Vrabel said Wednesday he was not among the group of five personnel, but he declined to identify any of those people who tested positive. Vrabel said some of those who tested positive were experiencing “flu-like” symptoms.
Hospitals feel squeeze as coronavirus spikes in Midwest
Like other states, health officials in Wisconsin had warned since the pandemic began that COVID-19 patients could overwhelm hospitals. Nearly 678 COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people have been diagnosed over the past two weeks, leading the country for new cases per capita, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The space isn't exclusively for coronavirus patients but could be used to treat them if needed. Last week, the state had the nation’s sixth-highest rate of coronavirus infections per 100,000 people, according to a White House coronavirus task force report dated Sunday. The number of reported coronavirus cases in Oklahoma increased by 980 on Wednesday, with 13 additional deaths, state health officials said.
Virus outbreak pushes Steelers-Titans to Monday or Tuesday
The Titans suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL says three Titans players and five personnel tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4. Only one new positive test result came back Wednesday, a day after the Titans had three players and five team personnel test positive for COVID-19. The Vikings had no positive test results Wednesday and were preparing to reopen their building Thursday, with a game Sunday at Houston. Other Titans are home hoping no more positive results turn up and that they themselves don't test positive even as they attempt to keep their family members safe. It’s tough to keep the virus completely out.”And the Titans are the NFL's first team tasked with finding a way to adapt and play through the league's first COVID-19 outbreak.
Titans have NFL's first COVID-19 outbreak, with 8 positives
The NFL says the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings are suspending in-person activities after the Titans had three players test positive for the coronavirus, along with five other personnel. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL says three Titans players and five other personnel tested positive for the coronavirus. The NFL issued a statement Tuesday saying both the Titans and Minnesota Vikings suspended in-person activities following the test results. A person familiar with situation told The Associated Press the eight test results were all confirmed positives, making this the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4. The Vikings released a statement saying they had not received any positive results from their testing after Sunday's game against the Titans.
Timeout? Fangio's late approach questioned after Denver loss
Tennessee Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski (3) celebrates his game winning field goal with teammates during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Denver. The Denver Broncos coach was taken to task on television and social media for his late-game clock management Monday night after a 16-14 loss to Tennessee. Struggling kicker Stephen Gostkowski made a 25-yard field goal in the closing seconds after missing three attempts earlier in his Titans debut. One, their field goal kicker had obviously been having his problems. It would have put us in field goal range and given us a first down.
Titans announce 1-year deal with OLB Jadeveon Clowney
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, right, talks with special teams coach Craig Aukerman during NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, Pool)NASHVILLE, Tenn. The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms with three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jadeveon Clowney on a one-year contract. The Titans did not announce the terms Sunday. 1 overall pick of 2014, Clowney went into free agency looking for a mega-contract that never came calling. The pandemic shut down travel for physicals, and Clowney didn't visit anyone once the NFL allowed free agents to meet teams in person. Lewan wrote Thursday: We can do this to other peoples teams now.We have an offer out to JD, and we've talked to both him and his agent," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Friday when talking to reporters.
No football talk as Titans safety sticks to racial injustice
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro made clear he won't let the fight against racial injustice recede from the conversation even as Tennessee returned to practice Friday. I know for me, the next step is just taking action, getting in the communities, being a shining light and an example, Vaccaro said. Not just a black square that everybody in the world posted on Instagram and thought that meant something. Asked if sitting out a regular-season game has been discussed, Vaccaro said the Titans haven't planned that far ahead. Vaccaro also has talked with safety Kevin Byard about how children look up to athletes as heroes with few Martin Luther King Jrs.
Doctor: NFL COVID-19 testing issues gave it test fire drill
ALLEN PARK, Mich. In two-plus weeks, the NFL kicks off its season. That doesn't leave much time to resolve significant issues about its COVID-19 testing procedures. Among teams reporting false positives, the Minnesota Vikings had 12, the New York Jets 10, the Chicago Bears nine and the Detroit Lions one. Five labs across the country process tests for the league's 32 teams and only the New Jersey facility had false positives on Saturday. The Cleveland Browns initially canceled practice, but after re-testing turned up negative tests they decided to have their workout.
Training camps have a different feel in this age of COVID-19
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. From the antimicrobial mist the Denver Broncos strolled through on their way to the practice fields to the hand-held whistles for masked-up coaches, NFL training camps have a very different look and feel this year. What it does is it really creates less of an opportunity for those guys to make our football team. Were going to have to find guys with the expanded practice squad, which we have spots for four veterans. Were going to have to find the right guys to be able to expand the practice squad with, Elway said. We have to appeal to their intelligence, their pride, their responsibility that, hey, this is different, Fangio said.