NASHVILLE, Tenn. –The Titans resumed practice Wednesday after players received Tuesday off. It was a light, walkthrough session for the team, whose bodies are still recovering from Monday night's game against the Steelers.
Whisenhunt, Mettenberger and other players in the Titans locker room spoke to the media on Wednesday. Here's what you need to know.
5. Injury Update
Blidi Wreh-Wilson (back) was limited today in practice today, while fellow DB Marqueston Huff (hamstring) did not participate Wednesday.
Leon Washington (hamstring) practiced full today and Whisenhunt said he plans to use Washington as a kick returner again on Sunday. Bishop Sankey filled in and returned kicks Monday night, even though Washington was active.
"We felt in the game like a 40-yard sprint could potentially put his hamstring at risk. We felt like he could perform how we needed him to as a [running] back, especially as a third down back, which we felt was important."
Delanie Walker practiced Wednesday and has just one more meeting with a physician before being cleared from his concussion. Walker said the decision was made Sunday to hold him out against the Steelers and make sure to not rush him back from a head injury. He also mentioned that he hasn't had headaches since Monday or Tuesday of last week (the day or two after the Ravens game).
- Mettenberger the "Savage"**
Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan has referred to his friend and quarterback Zach Mettenberger as a "savage" on multiple occasions. I asked for his definition on Wednesday.
"Savage: A guy who doesn't care about much and just wants to go in and do his job. He doesn't care about whether he's going to be popular or not -- he just wants to throw touchdowns," Lewan astutely described.
I then asked Lewan if he strives to be a savage.
"I mean yeah," he said. "You've got to fake it until you make it, right?"
Lewan is a gem.
3. Preparing Through a Short Week
Ken Whisenhunt said the decision was made to practice without pads and helmets in order to give players more time to heal. He explained that for the players, it's the recovery process that is so difficult on a short week.
"I think, physically, it's tough," he said. "Then you lose a day of preparation, especially for an opponent that you don't know. It makes it difficult. Usually when you have a short week you go against a division opponent, somebody that you have some familiarity with. Going into Philly against a team that does some things differently, it's a little bit more difficult, so that probably has an advantage, because you've really got to focus then."
The coaching staff is forced to cram two days of preparation into one before practice on Wednesday. That makes for an exhausting Tuesday coming off of a late night on Monday.
"It's tough," said Whisenhunt. "Yesterday (Tuesday) was a tough day. We're back to a normal schedule now so you get caught up from that standpoint. It's always difficult. We tried to put in a little work ahead of time, but sometimes those things run together when you do that. Yesterday was a long day."
2. Sankey's Family in Full Force on MNF
Bishop Sankey had plenty of family in attendance Monday night as he scored his first career touchdown at LP Field. In attendance (from left to right in the photo) were his grandparents, father Chris, step brother James, Uncle Albert, and mother Julie.
Sankey said Wednesday it meant a lot of have his family in attendance and that he talks with his father every day.
When speaking with Chris Sankey at the game, he said his excitement of watching his son on Monday Night Football was combined with prayers for his safety. "This is real-life football," he said, understanding the dangers of the sport.
Chris, who has been with the United States Air Force for 18 years, is currently stationed in Los Angeles. He told me that he's been granted a transfer to come to Tennessee as an ROTC Instructor at Tennessee State University and will make the move in December.
Continuing with the military theme, Sankey's Uncle, Albert, was granted a 30-day leave from his assignment in Korea with the U.S. Army so he could be in attendance at LP Field. Albert has been in Korea for one year and his time of service is nearing two decades. Both have done several tours overseas, each with at least one to Iraq. I told them on Monday, but I want to say thank you again to Chris and Albert for their past service and continued service to our military.
When chatting with Sankey's family, Chris brought up Grandma Sankey's world-famous chili that she cooked up just for Monday Night Football.
Bishop said he grew up on the chili and said it in fact it has the potential to be as acclaimed as Chris suggested.
"It has the potential to be world-famous, the world just hasn't tasted it yet," Sankey promoted his grandmothers masterpiece of a recipe.
My only disappointment was that I didn't get a bowl myself.
1. Mettenberger and Big Ben
Zach Mettenberger posted a photo on social media of him talking with Ben Roethlisberger following Monday Night Football. He discussed the interaction Wednesday.
"He had a lot of encouraging things to say. He's a big role model for me. I've always been a fan of his game. For him to take the time there and talk to me was a big deal for me."
The Titans released linebacker/special teamer James Anderson and are yet to fill the roster spot. Whisenhunt said they'll likely fill the 53rd roster spot internally from the practice squad. That decision will likely come later in the week when the coaching staff determines where the greatest need is.