Kevin Dodd has been a forgotten man on the Tennessee Titans defense thus far this year.
Dodd, who battled a foot injury that cost him a good part of his rookie season and the off-season this year, has been active for just one game thus far in the first six weeks of the regular season.
Dodd could end up being a healthy scratch again this week against the Browns, but he might actually have a chance to be active, especially if starter Derrick Morgan cannot go. Morgan is day-to-day with an abdominal strain suffered in Monday’s win over the Colts.
Dodd said he remains confident in himself, despite his injury setbacks and struggles.
“I can be that guy. That’s why they drafted me here. I’m waiting to prove it,” he said.
With both Morgan and Brian Orakpo (given a day to rest) out of Wednesday’s practice, Dodd got a chance to run with the starters on Wednesday in practice.
“I’ve just been going out and working hard on my stuff trying to get my spot back,” Dodd said. “I go against the ones almost every day, but I don’t do it with the ones defense. It’s no different, but I just focus on myself and try to get better.”
Dodd reflected on his career and said he simply has to keep working, despite things not working out quite the way the 2016 second-round pick had hoped they would.
“There’s a lot of ups and downs and not getting the opportunity to do what I want to do. You set yourself a high standard – that’s everybody,” Dodd said. “You want to see yourself be the guy, and sometimes it doesn’t play out that way. Sometimes it happens slow, and sometimes it happens fast. And it’s starting slow for me.”
Titans coach Mike Mularkey was asked about his confidence in Dodd to do the job.
“He has to, yeah (do the job); he has to. Derrick (Morgan) doesn’t play special teams, so this would strictly be get up and be an outside rusher for us,” Mularkey said.
For Dodd, that’s really the best he could hope for at this point.
“If I get the opportunity, I’m going to make the most of it. That’s all I know. I can’t tell you how much I’m going to play or if I’m going to play, but if I get an opportunity, I’m definitely going to make the most of it,” Dodd said.
Both Morgan (abdomen) and running back DeMarco Murray (hamstring) were held out of practice Wednesday by the Titans. Both are day-to-day, according to Mularkey.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota was a full participant and said his injured hamstring is getting better.
“Yeah, I feel good. As more time passes by, it’s an opportunity to feel better and better and I do,” Mariota said.
Linebacker Brian Orakpo was given a day to rest from practice, while receiver Corey Davis (hamstring) and safety Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring) remain out and won’t play this week.