You may need to use the table editor to define table's scope - should it be read as columns or rows to be understood properly? If you are unfamiliar with the Table Editor, you find it with the Reading Order Tool activated, and right clicking in a table.
I have worked with agencies who will not allow multiple 'objects' in any single table cell for accessibility, and it might be for the reasons you have uncovered. If something else pops in my head on this, I'll post more. Good luck.
Thanks. I tried defining the table's scope. But that didn't do much.
I ended up trashing the file and restarting from scratch. And it worked. I still don't know what caused that oddity. But I decided to just make the file accessible and then toss in the form fields page by page instead of doing all the accessibility first then all the form fields. It seemed to work better since I just save page by page, so I can restart easily.
I also found that "dragging" a tag or anything in the left pane is not the best method. Cutting and pasting reading orders or tags is a better method. It seems that if you cut and paste it, the reading order actually moves. And if you just drag it, it doesn't always move. No clue if that's legit though.