NASHVILLE – Caleb Farley remembers the night he had to start all over again.
The Titans cornerback remembers it too well, in fact.
It came during the second quarter of the team's October 18 against the Bills last season. Farley had recorded a pair of tackles before suffering a torn ACL, which began his rehab process all over again.
"It was dramatic for me," Farley said after Thursday's practice. "I was teary-eyed, I was crying. It was just a huge emotional blow. It was something unexpected. I didn't understand things. I knew the process that was to come. I knew where I was. It's something that really tried to keep me down and defeat me mentally.
"But that's not what I chose to agree with. I just chose to work to get back."
Fast-forward to today.
Nine months later, Farley is back on the practice field for training camp.
His knee brace is gone, and his spirts are up as he attempts to win a starting job with the Titans in 2022.
But right now, Farley said his focus is on getting better, and giving himself a chance.
"Just coming back out here (is a blessing)," Farley said. "Learning how to walk again can mess with you mentally, so just being able to run around and catch footballs and play football is rewarding.
"Definitely my faith (helped). I am a big faith guy, a spiritual guy. Without God, without my savior Jesus Christ, I wouldn't be here talking to you guys. I wouldn't still be trying to chase my dreams."
Selected 22nd overall in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech, Farley played in just three games in 2021 before suffering the season-ending knee injury. He was credited with two tackles and a pass defensed against Jacksonville before starting against Buffalo the following week.
Then came the injury on October 18 against the Bills. Farley also tore his ACL in college, when he dealt with back issues as well.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel and General Manager Jon Robinson have both praised Farley this offseason, saying he's made great strides during his rehabilitation and on the field since being placed on Injured Reserve last year.
In fact, Vrabel said earlier this week Farley recorded a pair of interception after reporting to training camp at the end of last week with some of the team's players recovering from injuries.
Farley knows his work must continue in the coming days, weeks and months. He said he ditched the "clunky" and "heavy" brace he'd been wearing a while back, a sign of his progress.
"Physically, mentally, emotionally – every aspect in my life I have improved," Farley said. "It just takes time to kind of slow the game down for you, and it doesn't ever stop truly. You have to continue to improve.
"It has been a journey, and hopefully it pays off and I get to the season healthy. I feel great, and I am confident. I just want to consider stacking the days. The job is never finished."