Not only did Mike Vrabel‘s Tennessee Titans put a licking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday night, but he may have left something else behind.
According to the man himself, Vrabel tested positive for COVID-19. He is in quarantine and following protocols as he awaits a retest on Monday.
“What it comes down to is you have to have two negative tests within a 48-hour period,” Vrabel said via Zoom on Sunday. “If that happens, then I can get back into the building. If not, I’ll have to wait 10 days.”
Vrabel is vaccinated, as all NFL head coaches must be to do their jobs. However, it’s not yet a requirement that players get vaccinated. Since Vrabel just returned from a trip to Tampa that included three days of joint practice with the Buccaneers and a preseason game, it’s likely he contracted the virus from one of the multitudes of players he came in close contact with.
So, what does this mean for Tom Brady and the Buccaneers?
The Buccaneers are currently waiting on contact tracing (per ESPN’s Jenna Laine). Since last season, every coach, player and staff member is required to wear a contact tracing chip that measures their proximity to others and for how long. The next steps will differ for close contacts who are vaccinated and unvaccinated, per NFL protocols.
In early August, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians told the media that he believes close to 100 percent of Bucs players will be vaccinated before they host the Dallas Cowboys in the kickoff to the NFL season on Sept. 9.
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