NASHVILLE – As Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan dealt with the emotional lows in recovering from last season's knee injury, he kept a daily log on what he wanted to accomplish, and what he's grateful for, to help him along the way.
A week into training camp, Lewan can't completely turn the page on the injury that ended his season in 2020.
Right now, Lewan is still limited in practices, and being held back by the team's coaching staff and medical staff.
But on Wednesday, Lewan said he's as optimistic as ever.
And, perhaps, better than ever, heading into the 2021 season.
"Things are going good," Lewan said. "I know in OTAs we spoke, and I didn't want to put a timeline on anything, and I am still not going to do that. I am out doing (individuals drills) now and taking some reps here and there. (But) I feel great. I feel like the exact same person.
"I'd love to be out there. I'd love to be able to take the plays. But they're integrating me slowly and it's great to know that they care and (they're) going to put me in the right great position and not compromise anything going into the season. Barring anything, there's going to be no issues. Week One (of the regular season) is not going to be a problem."
Lost for the 2020 season with a torn ACL last October against the Texans, Lewan had surgery and began working his way back.
So far, Lewan has been working in individual drills during practices, but he's been held out of team drills.
Titans Coach Mike Vrabel said on Wednesday the team is being cautious with the three-time Pro Bowler.
"It is a conversation between the doctors, the trainers, myself, and what we are trying to do," Vrabel said of the plan with Lewan. "It is what he needs and where he is at physically. We are going to have to start incorporating him into doing the jog through, which is good. We will see where that leads too. Does that lead to more one-on-ones? Does that lead to some reps in the team period? I don't know. As long as we are all on the same page, I think that is what is most important."
A first-round draft pick by the Titans in 2014, Lewan is headed into his eighth NFL season.
During the course of his career, Lewan has played in 90 regular season games, with 85 starts. He's also played in five postseason contests.
Having his season cut short after five games last season hurt, he said.
But it also gave him an even greater appreciation for the game.
"A lot of people will see that in my game this year," Lewan said. "I've always cared, I've always played hard …
"I am just really happy with where I'm at and really lucky and fortunate to be as healthy as I am. I have a newfound appreciation for the game, and I definitely feel like I am back to my normal self, if not a little bit better."