June 05, 2020

Training camp Day 1: Henry, Brown exit early; Walker looks solid

Training camp Day 1: Henry, Brown exit early; Walker looks solid

Both running back Derrick Henry and rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown departed the Tennessee Titans first training camp practice before the individual period was done on Friday.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel said he did not believe the injuries suffered by either player was significant, but both are likely to miss a few days of practice time.

“There’s not a whole lot of concern I would say at this point in time. Their availability will basically be day-to-day. I’ll meet with (trainer) Todd (Toricelli) and get them evaluated and hopefully, we’ll get them back to where they can contribute here in the preseason,” Vrabel said.

Henry, being counted on as a key cog in the Titans offense after rushing for 1,059 yards in 2018, left during individual work for running backs. He had taken a handoff from quarterback Marcus Mariota and ran a few yards before departing practice and not returning.

Brown, the Titans’ second-round pick from Ole Miss, saw his leg slide out from under him on a hitch route as he was about to catch a pass. He then walked the length of the field accompanied by a member of the Titans’ training staff and did not return to the workout. Vrabel said the Titans will be extra cautious with both.

“Clearly, we’re not going to jeopardize a player’s health. There’s nothing more important than the health of the football team. So we’re not going to jeopardize anybody health for one extra rep in practice,” he said.

Welcome back

There was some good news for the Titans on the first day of camp. Tight end Delanie Walker looked healthy and appeared to be getting back to his old form.

Walker showed early in team drills that he looks to be mostly past the fibula injury that cost him most of last season. He caught a ball in the left flat, turned on the jets and raced down the sideline on the play.

In the next period, 7-on-7 red zone, Walker made nice diving grab in the back of the end zone on a throw from Marcus Mariota.
Walker, 34, said he didn’t allow himself to even think about the injury.

“Honestly, I don’t even think about it. I think that’s one thing when players come back from injuries like that they think about it. I just go out here and go full speed,” he said. “I felt like I cut well and I was jump for the ball. I really didn’t feel anything today, so I’m excited about that.”

He said he is looking forward to getting back in a regular groove.

“It’s going to be a challenge, because I missed all of last year. I’m out there to go as hard as possibly can just to get that feeling back. I look forward to it, the challenge and competing with all these guys,” Walker said.

Working on the side

Rookie first-round pick Jeffery Simmons, who is on the NFI (non-football injury) list did some explosion work against a tackling dummy during the individual period. Simmon was accompanied on the drill by veteran defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, who was watching the rookie and seemingly offering pointers as he worked. Casey is himself on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list as he worked his way back from a knee injury.

Tight end Jonnu Smith, also on PUP, was running on the side.

Play of the day

Receiver Taywan Taylor made a sliding grab along the sideline in team drills, catching a pinpoint throw from Marcus Mariota as Taylor skidded out of bounds.

Line shuffle

The first-team offensive line for the first day of practice had Dennis Kelly filling in for the soon-to-be suspended Taylor Lewan at left tackle and Jamil Douglas spending most of practice filling at left guard for veteran Rodger Saffold.

Saffold, signed away from the Rams in the off-season, said he spoke to Coach Mike Vrabel before camp and relayed that the two of them came up with a camp plan for Saffold.

Elsewhere on the line, things were more as expected. Ben Jones was at center, Kevin Pamphile was at right guard and Jack Conklin was back at right tackle with the first unit. Lewan played left tackle on the second unit.

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