Tennessee Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan has been cleared to return and will play Sunday in Jacksonville after missing last week’s game with a concussion.
Lewan was knocked out on a crack back block by Miami’s Andre Branch following in a interception in the season opener.
While Lewan will be back, the Titans still don’t know whether quarterback Marcus Mariota will be in the lineup Sunday for a key AFC South matchup.
“I feel good. I wouldn’t have passed the protocol if I didn’t. Maybe a couple of years ago, but I’ve got a wife and a kid now, and I don’t want to be that guy that’s 45-years old and doesn’t know his own name,” Lewan said.
Lewan said he was told by Titans coach Mike Vrabel on Tuesday after the hit on Sunday that he would be held out of last week’s game against Houston. He said he appreciated Vrabel looking out for his well-being.
“I did have something (concussion) like that back in 2015, I had something going on,” Lewan said. “I will say this. When this happened a couple of weeks ago, I got a text from Vrabel on Tuesday, saying, ‘You’re not playing this week. Being stressed out about coming back is not going to help a concussion. I definitely didn’t get that kind of support in 2015. It was very, very cool to see a coach look out for the interest of his players. I’m not used to having that.”
Lewan missed the final game of the 2015 season with a concussion.
Lewan said he doesn’t remember much about the hit from Branch.
“I heard there was an interception, and I remember there were a bunch of people fighting. But everything in the middle, I don’t really remember,” he said of the hit.
Lewan jumped up after being KO’ed and said he saw people fighting and tried to jump in.
“I think it was more like being disoriented than anything else. I came in and I saw the boys getting in a fight. I thought, ‘Someone must have done something wrong,’ and I came in to help them out. That’s why you play football, for the boys,” he said.
In terms of whether or not Branch targeted him, Lewan vows payback in due time.
“I don’t know if I was targeted or not. I’m not going to sit here and pretend it hurts my feelings. If you’re a good football player, people are out to get you. No bad blood there. I’ll get mine in time,” he said, also referring to the comment of “body bag” that came from Branch regarding the hit.
In missing last week’s game, Lewan said he was extremely pleased with the way the offensive line played and in particular replacement tackles Kevin Pamphile and Tyler Marz.
“Being out that week and being on the sideline, it was awesome to see these guys go out there – Tyler Marz getting his first start, how awesome was that? I think there was like one sack and one pressure. I’m fired up for those guys. They came together and played hard,” Lewan said.
Meanwhile, the Titans still don’t know whether Mariota will have to sit out a second straight week with an arm injury that has caused tingling in his hand and fingers. He is questionable for the second straight game after being limited all week. Blaine Gabbert could start for the second week in a row.
“I would say it’s pretty much the same as it was yesterday. It’s probably going to take the next 24 hours to make a decision, but it’s pretty much the same as it’s been since Wednesday with a little bit of improvement from last week,” Vrabel said.
The Titans ruled out running back David Fluellen (hamstring) and tackle Dennis Kelly (illness). Linebacker Kamalei Correa was out of practice and is questionable with a back injury. Tackle Jack Conklin was upgraded to questionable for the first time this year as he recovers from ACL surgery on his left knee. Safety Kendrick Lewis is also questionable with a foot injury after being out the first two games.