NFL Threatens 'Significant Discipline' for Teams Violating Alcohol Policy

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 18, 2022

MUNICH, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 13: The NFL logo is painted on the field prior to the NFL match between Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Allianz Arena on November 13, 2022 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo Friday threatening "significant discipline" for teams that do not abide by the league's alcohol policy. The memo follows Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing's early Friday morning arrest on DUI and speeding charges following the Titans' 27-17 road win over the Green Bay Packers.

Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network relayed the news and memo, which reminded teams that they could not have alcohol in locker rooms, team facilities and modes of transportation such as airplanes and buses.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Full text of the memo from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, which was sent hours after <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Titans?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Titans</a> OC Todd Downing was arrested on suspicion of DUI after the team’s win at Green Bay. <a href="https://t.co/XT7QjIZPmr">pic.twitter.com/XT7QjIZPmr</a>

After the Titans returned from Green Bay, Downing was charged with DUI and speeding in Williamson County, Tennessee, per the sheriff's department (h/t Rapoport).

According to NFL.com, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said it pulled Downing over at around 2:30 a.m. local time. Per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, the Titans' flight arrived in Nashville at 2:11 a.m.

Separately, the Washington Commanders disciplined several players, according to Pelissero, after they were seen on social media with alcohol on the flight home following a 32-21 road victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.

Pelissero also noted that Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said the team was cooperating with the league regarding Downing's arrest.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

An NFL spokesman said of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Commanders?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Commanders</a>: “The league reviewed the matter this week and we’re satisfied with the discipline administered by the club.”<br><br>The NFL is still reviewing the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Titans?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Titans</a> situation from last night. Mike Vrabel said the club is cooperating with the league.

It's unclear what discipline awaits Downing, a 42-year-old in his second season as the team's OC and fourth year as a coach on Vrabel's staff after working with tight ends in 2019 and 2020.

The Titans' next game will be at home Sunday, Nov. 27, against the Cincinnati Bengals.