Quick Hits

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Thursday's Quick Hits: A.J. Brown, Return Man? Plus, a Rainy Day Practice and the Titans Injury Report


NASHVILLE -- The Titans returned to the practice field on Thursday at Saint Thomas Sports Park to continue preparations for Saturday's playoff game against the New England Patriots.

Here's a look at three quick hits from Thursday:

A.J. Brown, Return Man?

A.J. Brown has been a dynamic playmaker for the Titans this season.

Brown posted five 100-yard games in his rookie season, and he tallied 1,051 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

Now, Titans coach Mike Vrabel is talking about potentially using Brown in the return game.

"It's something that we're trying to do to expand his role and try to get A.J. (Brown) an opportunity to get the football in his hands in any way that we can," Vrabel said on Thursday. "So, we have ideas that maybe he could return punts, return kicks. Those are things that we would like to and want to see happen. Sometimes, by the way the game goes, or different circumstances, that doesn't end up happening. I like when players want to do anything they can to help the team outside of maybe what their normal position is."

Brown hasn't returned a punt or kickoff all season.

Prior to Sunday's game at Houston, Brown took the field early with Rashard Davis to work on fielding punts, but it was Davis who did it in the game. Darius Jennings, meanwhile, handled kickoffs his first game back.

Adam Humphries returned punts before suffering an injury that's kept him out since December 1. Kalif Raymond also handled punts, but he's been sidelined with a concussion. Adoree' Jackson was the team's punt returner earlier in the season, so he also has experience.

"I think that there will be a lot of those guys that will catch punts pre-game for us and give us an opportunity to make decisions," Vrabel said when asked specifically about Davis. "But he did, he looked good catching it back there. Hopefully we can block the gunners better than we did last week, but he was sound in his technique and fundamentals with catching it."

Rainy Day Practice

The current forecast for Saturday in Foxborough calls for a high of 43, and a low of 33, with rain.

Kickoff is set for 8:15 ET, so temperatures will be dropping at Gillette Stadium.

The chance for rain is 90 percent on Saturday night, and there's a chance snow could mix with the rain at some point, according to the Weather Channel.

So, with it raining on Thursday in Nashville, Vrabel made sure the practice session was outdoors.

"It is nice – it is good timing," Vrabel said of the weather. "It's (not) as cold (as it will be Saturday night) but it was great to have some weather. Whether it rains, whether it snows, whatever happens at least we had the opportunity to work through some of those conditions."

Injury Report

Receiver Adam Humphries (ankle) did not practice again on Thursday and he's been ruled out for Saturday's game.

Cornerback Adoree' Jackson (foot) practiced again on Thursday and said afterward he's "good to go."

Right tackle Jack Conklin (knee), added to the Injury Report on Wednesday, practiced on Thursday in full and is also expected to play.

Receiver Kalif Raymond practiced again on Thursday on a limited basis, but Vrabel said he remains in the concussion protocol. Raymond is listed as questionable on the Injury Report.

Linebacker Daren Bates (shoulder) was a full participant again and is good to go while receiver Cody Hollister (ankle) was listed as limited as is questionable for Saturday's contest.

Safety Dane Cruikshank (illness) was added to the Injury Report on Thursday, and listed as questionable after being limited in Thursday's session.

The Tennessee Titans practice on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donald Page)

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