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Titans RB Julius Chestnut Motivated for More After Injury-Shortened 2023 Season


NASHVILLE— Julius Chestnut arrived in Tennessee as an underdog back in 2022.

An undrafted free agent from Sacred Heart, Chestnut made the team as a rookie. Then Chestnut made the team again in 2023, only to see his year cut short in Week 3 because of a season-ending hamstring injury.

"It was hard, an adjustment definitely," Chestnut said of last season. "But I had people around me helping me out, and I tried to use the time to get better."

Looking ahead, Chestnut is doing his part to try to put himself in the mix at running back moving forward.

Over his first two NFL seasons, Chestnut has played in nine games – six games in 2022, and the first three contests in 2023. Chestnut got hurt in Cleveland while playing on special teams, where he's mostly made his mark the first two seasons, including work returning kickoffs.

Chestnut, who has nine career carries for 12 yards, has flashed in preseason games with extended playing time.

After rehabbing the injury during the fall, he began focusing on himself.

"I really just spent the time trying to get better at my weaknesses, trying to be better in the passing game, trying to catch more, do things like that, and focus on my conditioning," Chestnut said. "When you get to the NFL, you really don't know how to condition well, or how it was going to be. So, once I learned it's a different kind of style than college football, I had to adjust. So really, just learning."

While cleaning out his locker at season's end, Chestnut said he's plenty motivated after sitting out most the year.

Chestnut, who is scheduled to be an exclusive rights free agent, remembers missing extended time because of a knee injury his final season as Sacred Heart, where he ran for 3,467 yards and 29 touchdowns from 2018-2021.

"Watching (in 2023), and seeing my brothers fall short of the playoffs, it makes me want to get back out there," Chestnut said. "I don't like to see disappointment in by brothers' faces. I just want to contribute and help as best as I can.

"I've been through (injuries) before, and I just put my faith in God and my family to get through it. (My plan) is to just keep working and try to find my spot on this team. Whatever I need to do to be here, just try to play hard and practice as best I can. I want to come back stronger than ever, better than I was before."

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