NASHVILLE, Tenn. — "Welcome back, Kendall."
Titans receiver Kendall Wright probably heard that more times than he caught the ball on Sunday, and fortunately for the Titans, that was a lot.
"It was a lot of 'Welcome back. Welcome back','' Wright, with a smile, said after the team's 28-26 win over the Browns. "But I never really left. I haven't gone anywhere. Whenever my number is called I have to be ready to make a play, and that's what I did today and it's what I have to keep doing.
"(My teammates) were really cheering me on, and they have my back."
Wright had a big day on Sunday. The fifth-year receiver led the Titans with eight catches for 133 yards, and he made the play of the day on his diving 48-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
Wright entered the contest with just three catches for 23 yards on the season. He missed the first three games of the season with a hamstring injury, which also kept him out of all four preseason games.
"I told him on the field: Glad to have you back, baby. Glad to have you back,'' tight end Delanie Walker said of Wright. "I am glad he is 100 percent. His performance today showed it, he balled out today. That's all we can ask for from our receivers, to make the plays when they come. I am happy that happened."
The performance was the second-best in Wright's career from a yardage standpoint. During Wright's 94-catch, 1,079-yard season in 2013, he caught 12 passes for 150 yards against the Cardinals.
So, about that catch.
After getting behind the Cleveland defense on a first and 10 from the 48-yard line, Wright went all out to catch a deep ball thrown by quarterback Marcus Mariota. After catching the ball, Wright landed hard, and knocked the breath out of him, he said afterward. Wright quickly got up, however, and managed to get into the end zone before Browns defensive back Derrick Kindred could touch him down
Wright had five catches for 105 yards in the first half. His touchdown grab gave the Titans a 14-6 lead.
"Just (seeing) the replays at the stadium, he made a hell of a catch,'' Mariota said of Wright. "And that is kind of the expectation for him, to make plays like that. I was glad to see him get in the game a little bit, he had a great game and provided us another option outside."
Wright ran the same route in practice during the week, but it wasn't executed with perfection.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie spent additional time with Wright on the route, and the Titans got it right. Mularkey said the extra time was well worth it.
Titans receiver Rishard Matthews also made a diving 43-yard catch, and scored on an 11-yard touchdown catch early. He finished the day with three catches for 70 yards.
"Those are big plays, the plays we've been missing,'' Mularkey said. "(Kendall) missed a lot of time. He was better today. He certainly showed up today."
Wright said he hopes Sunday's game is a sign of things to come.
He's ready to deliver.
"It feels good to contribute,'' Wright said. "I have always been a playmaker. … Whenever my number is called, I just have to do my job. But we have a lot of personnel groupings and we have some pretty good running backs, so I am happy when I am blocking for them and happy when Marcus is throwing the ball. I think I am in a good place.
"I just go out there whenever my number is called and if Marcus throws me the ball I have to be ready to make a play."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Cleveland Browns in Week 6 action at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)