NASHVILLE – The Titans returned to the practice field on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park to begin preparations for Sunday's season opener against the Arizona Cardinals at Nissan Stadium.
Some quick hits after Monday's practice:
-Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list over the weekend, was back on the practice field.
-Linebacker David Long Jr. was not spotted on the practice field today.
-Defensive back Chris Jackson, sidelined for a good chunk of recent practices while recovering from an injury, practiced with the team.
-Receivers coach Rob Moore, who missed the final preseason game against the Bears as well as some practices last week because of COVID protocols, was back on the practice field.
-Running back Derrick Henry regularly practices his stiff arm by fending off a helmet on a stick. On Monday during individual drills, running backs coach Tony Dews introduced a new drill that incorporates the stiff-arm, and it reminded me of a game of Whac-A-Mole.
-Tight end MyCole Pruitt, signed to the practice squad last week, practiced with the team for the first time since rejoining the squad. Pruitt is back in No. 85.
-Lineman Corey Levin, claimed off waivers from the Jets last week, practiced with the team, decked out in No.61. But Levin was released later in the day.
-Tight end Geoff Swaim was also on the practice field after being activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the day.
-Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said before practice he's hopeful the team will get guard Nate Davis and center Ben Jones back this week off the Reserve/COVID-19 list. "I would anticipate those guys having a few days of practice before they play in the football game," Vrabel said.
-Vrabel declined to name a starter at right tackle. Vrabel mentioned David Quessenberry, Ty Sambrailo and Kendall Lamm in answering a question about the starting spot while saying, "We'll see how that thing plays out throughout the week."
-Vrabel said the Titans will vote on team captains on Wednesday.
-Five Titans talked to reporters on Monday before practice – safety Kevin Byard, linebacker Rashaan Evans, guard Rodger Saffold, receiver Chester Rogers and fullback Khari Blasingame.
-Byard knows the challenge this week in Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
"He is a dangerous and dynamic athlete," Byard said of Murray. "Not only can he run, but he can make all the throws as well. He is a jitterbug out there – you can't really try and get any kill shots against him, you just have to try and capture him, and limit his gains. He is just a dynamic player, a guy we are going to have to contain for sure."
-Evans said he's excited about the mix of veterans and newcomers on the team's defense.
"When you have those two dynamics, they can make you very dangerous," Evans said. "You have a lot of youth on the field, guys who are hungry and want to make an impact early on. And then you have older guys who have been in the game and made big plays. …. Both of those dynamics can make you very dangerous."
-Saffold said the Titans offensive line is ready for the challenge, and it wants to be consistent from Week One.
"(I want us to be known for) our physicality, and our effort," Saffold said. "I think it shows a lot out there when you have guys running down the field. When we get a long run, you see offensive linemen chasing the ball, you see great blocks downfield from our wide receivers, so that's who we are, that's who the Titans are. As an offensive line you want to be able to protect and be physical. And we want to show our effort and finish every play."
-Rogers, a fifth-year veteran, wants to contribute any way he can in 2021, on offense or on special teams.
"I wasn't sweating (cuts) – I feel like I put in the work, and now I just have to continue to do what I did all through training camp and OTAs," Rogers said. "My role is, "I've got a role.' I just have to make plays when the ball comes my way, from returns, to the slot, to wherever they got me.
"This opportunity I have now is just as rewarding as when I came in as an undrafted free agent my rookie year. I really went out there and earned it every single day. I am not taking it for granted."
-Blasingame is ready to pave the way again for running back Derrick Henry.
He's gotten bigger and stronger, and he feels ready to go.
"I am playing with a little bit more weight, and it feels good," Blasingame said. "I feel conditioned with it, so I am excited about putting it to the test."
-The Titans will return to the practice field on Wednesday.