By Terry McCormick
Delanie Walker has been waiting nearly a year for Sunday’s season opener against the Cleveland Browns.
Walker, who suffered a broken and dislocated ankle in the season opener last year against Miami, pronounced himself healthy, ready to go and ready to deal with the hype that suddenly surrounds the Browns.
“It’s been a while and I’m just excited to be back and healthy and ready to go … I feel like I”m able to go out there and play my best football. That’s pretty much where I am with that,” said Walker, who saw limited preseason action, but did catch a touchdown pass against the Patriots in week two..
Walker said the Titans will be ready to face all the attention that suddenly is being heaped upon the Browns with their star power in Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham, Jr., Myles Garrett and others that suddenly have NFL pundits mentioned the Browns and the words deep playoff run in the same sentence this preseason.
“That’s the NFL. They’re going to take the team that they feel like is going to be Super Bowl champs because they’ve got guys on that team that they feel like can turn a whole organization around, two or three guys,” Walker said. “But hey, that’s how it goes. I like that they get the hype. We’ll just go in there and play football.
“The Tennessee Titans have always been under the radar, so what’s new? I expect them to talk about the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland this, and Cleveland that. We’re going to go in there and play football. As a group, we’ve just got to go in there and handle the noise and play our game.”
Cornerback Logan Ryan echoed a similar sentimnt in that the Titans have to focus on themselves and their own preparation rather than what Cleveland throws out onto the field.
“It’s a great challenge for sure They’re great players. We know that. We’re going to do what we always do, prepare for them, study all their routes, study everything they do, play our variety of defense and go out there and challenge them,” Ryan said.
Out of practice
Left tackle Dennis Kelly, filling in while Taylor Lewan serves a four-game suspension, was out of practice on Monday. However, Coach Mike Vrabel indicated that Kelly would be ready to go on Sunday.
“Dennis wasn’t out there today. I don’t think it would be anything that should cause any alarm, but he wasn’t at practice today,” Vrabel said.
Newly acquired outside linebacker Reggie Gilbert, who is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, also did not practice Monday.
Defensive back Josh Kalu was not on the practice field either, and the Titans later made a roster move placing him on injured reserve.
The Titans made a waiver claim on Monday, claiming defensive back and special teams standout Chris Milton from the Indianapolis Colts. Milton was dropped by Indy, when they claimed Ryan Lewis from the Bills on Sunday.
Milton spent three seasons with the Colts as a backup defensive back and a key performer on the Colts’ special teams unit. Kalu was placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.