Titans without defensive play-caller due to COVID testing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans improved to 3-0 despite not having their defensive play-caller on the sideline in Minnesota, and coach Mike Vrabel said Monday assistant Shane Bowen remains in the COVID-19 protocol.

Testing results received Saturday morning led to the outside linebackers coach staying in Nashville and away from the Titans. Bowen calls defensive plays during games. Vrabel said he helped out and special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman wore a headset helping while Vrabel spent more time with the defense.

The Titans were outgained 464-444 but beat the Vikings 31-30.

“That’s our job is to be able to handle it and to function and move on and make sure that the team has everything it needs,” Vrabel said.

Vrabel said Matt Edwards helped with the outside linebackers, and so did the head coach. Vrabel said Bowen is helping too, though he is limited to working remotely, in a process that the Titans will follow until Bowen is allowed to return.

Asked if contact tracing might affect any players or other team personnel, Vrabel said they are following all the protocols related to COVID.

“That’s all I’ll say about it …,” Vrabel said. “We’re not into timetables or returns to play or coach.”

The Titans start a three-game homestand Sunday as they host Pittsburgh (3-0).

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