Thursday was a good news day at Saint Thomas Sports Park. Not only did the team announce the signing of a reliable veteran kicker in four-time Pro Bowler Stephen Gostkowski, but they also got lots of good news on the injury front.
Rookies Kristian Fulton and Darrynton Evans both returned to action after being sidelined for the past week. They were joined on the field by three-fifths of the starting offensive line as right guard Nate Davis, right tackle Dennis Kelly, and left guard Rodger Saffold were back after short absences. Cornerback Kareem Orr also saw reps for the first time in roughly a week as he resumes his fight for one of the final roster spots.
Not practicing at all on Thursday were wide receiver Rashard Davis, safety Dane Cruikshank, and offensive lineman Jamil Douglas. Davis and Douglas are battling for roster spots while Cruikshank seems like a lock to make the 53 as a backup safety behind Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro once he returns to health. We don’t have details on any of these injuries — as is custom with the Titans during training camp — but we can safely assume that none of them are season ending since roster moves would have already been made.
Another player who seems to have avoided a season ending injury is outside linebacker Derick Roberson. Our own John Glennon reported this afternoon that the second-year pass rusher suffered no torn ligaments during his injury on Tuesday that led to him getting carted off the practice field.
Roberson was seen working on the stationary bike during Thursday’s practice, which is a good sign for a relatively speedy return. The Titans could use his speed and athleticism off the edge after he produced 3 sacks in just a handful of games late in 2019.
Speaking of outside linebacker help… Titans mystery man Vic Beasley was seen working on the side field with head coach Mike Vrabel today in his first real action on a practice field since being put on the reserve/Non-Football Injury list.
Generally, side work with Vrabel has served as something of a right of passage before returning to the practice field for injured players. The Titans head coach has said that he likes to get his hands on guys and feel how they’re moving around before turning them loose for live action.
Buck Reising of AtoZ Sports mentioned on his podcast that Beasley had been seen limping when walking around the Titans practice fields recently, suggesting that it is, in fact, an injury (and not strictly a conditioning issue) that has held him out of work over the past few weeks.
Getting some positive Beasley news 11 days before the opener in Denver is certainly a welcome development for a team whose biggest concern remains the shaky pass rush that has plagued their otherwise strong defense over the past couple years. It’s at least possible that we could see the talented edge rusher suit up and play a limited role in Week 1, and even if you’re frustrated with his start to his tenure as a Titan, it would be a big plus to have Beasley’s pass rush ability on the field against the shaky Broncos starting tackles.
Overall, this remains a pretty healthy Titans football team headed into the start of the 2020 season. They’ve avoided season ending injuries so far and had 21 of 22 starters working on the practice field today with the aforementioned Beasley being the lone exception.