NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kamalei Correa waited, and when he got his chance, he pounced.
The Titans outside linebacker, inactive the previous two weeks, made one of the biggest plays in Sunday's win over the Giants when he sacked quarterback Eli Manning, forcing a fumble that was recovered by defensive tackle Jurrell Casey.
The play – and the way Correa has handled himself since joining the team in August – earned him props from coaches and teammates.
"I praise K.C. each and every day because he is humble, and he's always ready," linebacker Brian Orakpo said. "He is always ready to learn and get better, and he makes plays."
Correa's forced fumble led to a Derrick Henry touchdown in the team's 17-0 win.
The Titans face the Redskins this Saturday at Nissan Stadium, and Correa will likely be counted on to make plays again.
"We really appreciate Kam and what he does," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. "It's not easy — making decisions on game day rosters is not easy. We have five guys in that room, and there is some veteran guys, there's some young guys, and then Kam who we acquired at the end of camp who is always ready to go. He is a professional, plays hard. Having those conversations with players like that is not easy, to say, 'Hey, we can't have you on our active today.' He remains positive, he remains focused, and then now he gets a chance today to be active and help contribute to the victory."
Correa, who has 24 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three quarterback pressures on the season, said he was happy to make a play.
"It's very rewarding, but I want to give a big shout-out to my defense, because it wouldn't have been possible for me to make that play without the other guys doing their jobs," Correa said. "I was in the right spot at the right time. The ball came by way, and I made a play."
Correa, acquired from the Ravens via trade in August, admitted it was hard to watch while being inactive in back-to-back weeks vs. the Jets and Jaguars. During those weeks, the Titans opted to go with other players instead of a healthy Correa.
Correa was inactive for a game earlier this season as well, but that's when he was dealing with a back injury.
"You just have to keep the faith in the Lord, that's my biggest thing," Correa said. "Shoot, it's hard. You are inactive, you are on the sideline and you can't do much to help the team. But the main motto I kept was: Just keep fighting, man. Keep the faith in God and He's going to find everything out for you. And that's what happened."
Heading into Saturday's critical game vs. the Redskins, Correa knows he'll likely be needed again.
Orakpo is dealing with an elbow injury that forced him to miss Sunday's game vs. the Giants, and rookie Sharif Finch suffered a shoulder injury in that contest.
Veteran Derrick Morgan, rookie Harold Landry and Correa are currently the only healthy outside linebackers on the team.
"You just have to keep fighting," Correa said. "You just have to stay strong and keep the faith. You have to keep grinding and stay positive. We're on a little streak now and we have to keep it going."