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Observations From Titans-Vikings Practice on Thursday in Minnesota


EAGAN, Minn. – The Titans are in Minnesota this week for joint practices against the Vikings.

On Thursday, the two teams went head-to-head on Day 2 at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Here's a look at what happened:

-Titans receiver Treylon Burks didn't practice after suffering a leg injury in Wednesday's practice.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel gave an update on Burks after practice, and I did a separate story on it: CLICK HERE.

-The other injury news that raised some concerns after practice centered on the health of quarterback Will Levis.

Vrabel mentioned Levis didn't finish practice, which caught some off-guard.

I happened to be eyeing Levis when he walked off, noticed that he never returned, and I wondered if the head coach would mention it. He did.

Levis left the field with a trainer following the final snap of a team period. He'd just been forced out of the pocket to his right, and he ran toward the sideline. When the play was over, Levis walked back with the team into the middle of field before eventually retreating the other way. Levis first entered a white tent adjacent to the practice fields. Levis remained inside for a few moments, and he then headed to the locker room. He never returned.

Vrabel said Levis was supposed to get extra work, 'but they took him in, and we'll see where he is at for the game on Saturday."

Vrabel gave no specifics about a potential injury.

-The best play of the day for the Titans on defense was a one-handed interception by cornerback Kristian Fulton.

The play came on a Kirk Cousins pass that was intended for Vikings tight end Josh Oliver.

Teammates celebrated Fulton, and each other.

Fulton made several nice break-ups on Thursday.

-The most eye-opening play of the day on offense was a Ryan Tannehill pass to receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Hopkins caught the pass for a touchdown, and then he punted the football into the air in celebration.

The play took place in a team fringe red zone period.

-The most regrettable play – or punch – of the day involved defensive lineman Teair Tart.

In an early team period, Tart threw a punch after exchanging words and shoves with Vikings center Garrett Bradbury.

Tart was flagged, and sent inside, away from the action.

He watched the rest of practice in a t-shirt.

-Now, let's get to the nuts and bolts of Thursday, and all the action.

-The Titans fared much better in the offensive 1-on-1s early, compared to Wednesday's session.

Kyle Philips and Tyjae Spears had two catches each in this period, and Chig Okonkwo, Chris Moore, Josh Whyle, Julius Chestnut, Mason Kinsey, Gavin Holmes, Jacques Patrick, Kearis Jackson, Racey McMath, Tre'Shaun Harrison, Reggie Roberson Jr. and Hopkins all had catches as well.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Okonko, Hopkins, Philips and Whyle all had catches in the 2-on-2s with the Vikings DBs.

-While Titans defenders gave up plays in the 1-on-1s and 2-on-2s (Justin Jefferson caught a TD working against Fulton in the first 1-on-1), the Titans made plays as well.

Amani Hooker had two break-ups in the 1-on-1s, and Azeez Al-Shaair, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Mike Brown, Jack Gibbens, Anthony Kendall, Otis Reese IV all had breakups as well. Kevin Byard and Matthew Jackson had PBUs in the 2-on-2s.

-Cornerback Roger McCreary had an interception in the 2-on-2s, his second INT in as many days.

-Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill was 17-of-26 in the 7-on-7 and team periods combined, doing his best work in a 2-minute drill late when he completed five straight passes, including a touchdown. Tannehill went 37-of-51 in the two days combined against the Vikings.

-It was tight end Chig Okonkwo who was on the receiving end of Tannehill's touchdown pass in the two-minute period, which came from the nine-yard line with no time left on the clock. Center Aaron Brewer celebrated the play by kicking the ball into the air.

-Quarterback Malik Willis went 6-of-12 in the 7-on-7 and team periods combined, and he was intercepted by Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth in the end zone at the end of his two-minute drive opportunity. Booth celebrated by throwing the ball in the direction of the Tennessee sideline, and no one liked that – including the refs, who threw a flag. Willis completed a bomb to receiver Chris Moore, but it was called back because of a mystery penalty. No one liked that either. Willis, after going 13-of-14 on Wednesday, was 19-of-26 in the two days combined.

-Before exiting early, Levis was 3-of-5 in his work in team periods, including a touchdown toss to Holmes. I had Levis at 8-of-12 in the 7-on-7 and team periods combined over the two days combined.

-I thought Whyle had a good two days. After a tough outing against the Bears, the tight end showed up in these practices. He made plays in 7-on-7 and team periods, and one of them was a touchdown toss from Tannehill on the first play of 7-on-7 today.

-Nick Westbrook-Ikhine got extra work with Burks sidelined, and he went up high to make a great sideline catch on a Tannehill pass in a two-minute period. I wasn't 100 percent sure NWI got both feet inbounds at first, because I was shielded by a bunch of Titans players who creeped onto the field to see for themselves. But I was assured later it was a catch.

-Murphy-Bunting, Tre Avery, Otis Reese IV and Mike Brown all made nice break-ups in the early 7-on-7 period. Murphy-Bunting made another nice play in a team period with another PBU.

-Mike Brown had several PBUs on the day as well. I think this guy is playing his way onto the roster.

-Running back Derrick Henry bowled in for a touchdown in a fringe red zone period, and Julius Chestnut had a nice run as well.

-Azeez Al-Shaair showed up in these practices. He was around the football, just like he'd been in practices in Nashville.

-Defensive linemen Denico Autry and Jeffery Simmons did their thing up front, and Harold Landry also flashed.

-I saw Arden Key celebrating a would-be sack.

-Pass protection was a little shaky in one team period, when it looked like Tannehill was pressured once, and Willis was pressured once, and sacked another time.

-The Tennessee defense, which tallied a pair of interceptions in two-minute periods for the Vikings offense on Wednesday, gave up a pair of touchdowns on Thursday.

Kirk Cousins connected with K.J. Osborn for one score, and Nick Mullens connected with Trishton Jackson for another.

-In addition to Burks, running back Hassan Haskins, running back Jonathan Ward, offensive lineman John Ojukwu, defensive lineman Naquan Jones, defensive lineman Kyle Peko, linebacker Monty Rice, and receiver Colton Dowell did not practice on Thursday.

-I chatted with Twins pitcher Sonny Gray before practice today.

The Smyrna High product and former Vanderbilt pitcher is a big Titans fan.

See below for the interview.

Next: Titans vs Vikings, Saturday, 7 p.m.

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