Rishard Matthews returned from his knee injury in time for the start of the regular season, but the veteran wide receiver is still trying to settle into a role in the offense over the first two games of the season.
Matthews, who negotiated a one-year extension with the Titans himself while still on the physically unable to perform list, has caught just two of the four passes thrown his way last week for eight total yards in limited action since returning from knee surgery.
Matthews played 28 snaps last week against Houston, two less actually than in the opener against Miami. But at least he had a small role in the passing game last week. His only touch in the opener was a punt return when Adoree’ Jackson was banged up with a shoulder injury.
Matthews, who caught 118 passes in his first two years with the Titans, is eager to carry more of a full-time load as a receiver.
He was asked if he felt he was getting enough reps and opportunities in games, and replied, “I don’t know. Not enough, in my opinion.”
Asked about his physical health, Matthews said, “I feel like I’m 100 percent.”
Even with tight end Delanie Walker on injured reserve following a broken ankle, Matthews is still way down the list in terms of targets early in the year. Among the receivers and tight ends on the Titans roster, only Jonnu Smith has been thrown to less than Matthews. By contrast, Corey Davis has been thrown to 20 times already and leads the club with 11 receptions through two games.
In terms of his mastery of a new offense, Matthews also feels like he is on the same plane as the rest of the Titans receivers.
“I feel like I’m the same as everybody else,” Matthews said of his knowledge of the new system.
New offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur said Matthews might begin to get worked into the offense more as the year goes on.
“I think he’s coming along. We’re giving him a little bit more each and every week. He’s a veteran guy. He’s smart. Just because he wasn’t out here practicing in OTAs and the beginning of camp doesn’t mean he wasn’t engaged. He was certainly engaged. He’s coming along nicely, and hopefully, we can get him more and more as this season progresses,” LaFleur said.