The Titans final practice before leaving for preseason game number one in Philadelphia featured a return to action for Marcus Mariota after he got a day off from team periods yesterday. This practice was closed to the public and I was not able to be there, but here are some notes rounded up from the excellent Titans media members who were on hand.
- Cameron Batson: Batson was placed on the Injured Reserve list with a broken collarbone last week. He’s unlikely to return until late in the season at the very earliest.
- Jurrell Casey, Jeffery Simmons, Jonnu Smith, and Ryan Succop: All of these guys remain on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list due to knee injuries of various severity.
- A.J. Brown: Brown continues to inch closer to a return to the field. He joined his teammates on the practice field as a spectator, but did take a turn throwing some passes to his fellow receivers during an individual period (the former MLB draft pick actually has a pretty live arm which could be useful for a trick play or two at some point in his career). This is purely speculation, but it feels like there is a good chance we see him make a return to practice after the team gets back from Philly.
- Derrick Henry: No Henry again today. If we are buying into Ian Rapoport’s reported two week timeline, that would mean that he would have a chance to return to action this weekend or early next week. It makes sense for the team to be extremely cautious with Henry right now though.
- Nate Davis: Davis remains out after leaving practice early last Thursday. No word on what his injury might be, but it seems unlikely that we will see him get action against the Eagles. That’s unfortunate for a guy who needs as many live reps as possible and is still in the mix for the starting job at right guard.
- Frank Herron: Herron has been out with an injury for about a week now as well. He was reportedly seen with a walking boot on his right foot last Wednesday and hasn’t participated since. The team must believe that he can return relatively quickly though. If they didn’t, he likely would no longer be on the roster.
- D’Andre Walker: Walker is a new addition to the injury watch list here as he did not practice today. No word on what might have held him out (and it’s possible that it was just a maintenance day for a guy who dealt with a groin injury that required surgery during the offseason). Hopefully he gets a chance to play tomorrow night.
- Derick Roberson: Roberson, the team’s “other” rookie outside linebacker, was also held out of practice today. Similar to Walker, it’s unclear whether this is an injury or a scheduled day off, but he’s one of the guys that I was most looking forward to watching during the preseason game so I selfishly hope he gets to play as well.
- David Fluellen: Fluellen left practice with a limp today and did not return. Prepare to see a LOT of Jeremy McNichols, Dalyn Dawkins, and Alex Barnes Thursday night.
Undrafted rookie receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams continues to flash. He had a couple nice reps in one-on-one drills today that were caught on video.
Ratliff-Williams is the second receiver running in the clip from Wyatt below. He does a really nice job of using his inside arm to give LeShaun Sims a bit of a push by at the top of his route to create extra separation.
There is a lot of negativity in the Titans fan base surrounding Taywan Taylor, but he’s really not had a bad camp. Does he still have issues body catching and tracking the ball? Absolutely, but he’s also one of the better route runners on the team and frequently finds himself wide open because of it (as he does in the clip below). It’s a give and take with him, but that’s true of most NFL players.
Kalif Raymond continues his push for a roster spot. The former Holy Cross track star has some legit jets as he shows here against Logan Ryan.
Wide receivers beating corners tend to make for better video highlights from training camp than the other way around so you tend to see a lot of those clips floating around, but let’s give some love to the DBs as well. A guy that probably isn’t getting enough love right now is second year corner/safety Joshua Kalu. Here, he makes a great play to stay in Darius Jennings’ hip pocket and then may a play on the ball. He’s a guy that could be in the mix for the tenth or eleventh defensive back spot.
- Tajae Sharpe reportedly had a couple nice touchdown grabs on the day as his strong camp continues. It’s strange to say, but the Titans look like they’re going to have a group of pass catchers that runs five or six deep pretty easily once A.J. Brown gets back in the mix.
- The Titans first team group on the offensive line was Dennis Kelly, Rodger Saffold, Ben Jones, Kevin Pamphile, and Jack Conklin. That group seems to be the most likely set of starters to open the season as things stand today, though I wouldn’t call the right guard competition anywhere close to finished right now.
- DaQuan Jones and Austin Johnson combined for what would have likely been a sack during a team period. It’s good to see those two showing some life as pass rushers. I’ve thought that Jones has had a nice camp overall after spending the offseason working out with Harold Landry here in Nashville.