Titans Rookie LB Rashaan Evans Improving, But He's Not Ready Yet


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans rookie linebacker Rashaan Evans returned to practice on Wednesday.

Well, sort of.

Evans was in uniform for stretch and took part in a handful of plays in individual drills. But he was shut down after that brief appearance, and returned to work on his conditioning.

Coach Mike Vrabel said he's not quite ready.

"Rashaan wasn't feeling great after individuals," Vrabel said. "So we'll give him more treatment and we'll give him some more time and hopefully, as soon as he's ready, we'll get him back out there."

Over the last week, has been observed working on a side field while his teammates practiced, seemingly doing more each day.

While he hasn't been practicing, the Titans linebacker has worked on his conditioning, and building strength.

Kettlebells, ropes and ladders have all been a part of his on-field routine. He's watched a boatload of film.

What the team's first-round pick from Alabama wants most, however, is to get back on the field. And to stay there.

On Wednesday, speaking to reporters for the first time since a setback early in training camp, Evans said he's champing at the bit to return.

"I'm doing good right now," Evans said. "I'm just taking everything slow right now, and whatever the trainers need me to do, that's what I have been doing basically.

"I really don't have a target date right now. It really could be at any time. For me, I just have to be as careful as possible. You really want to be out there with the guys, and be able to participate, but not only that, get better at yourself. I have been doing everything I can possibly do, and each and every day I am getting better."

Evans, the 22nd overall pick of the NFL Draft, admitted he was frustrated early in his recovery process, but came to realize the most important thing is to be available for the regular season. Evans suffered a setback on Day 3 of training camp, so he's missed two preseason games and over a dozen practices.

But coaches and teammates have encouraged him, he said.

"You are kind of champing at the bit, because I am a rookie," he said. "I've never had the experience of being out there in my first NFL game. I am kind of anxious right now, but at the same time I am excited."

Evans said the extra time has allowed him to learn the defense even better.

He's looking forward to helping the team when he does come back.

"You want to be out there with the guys," Evans said. "I want to be out there running, and playing football. It's what I have been doing my entire life. I had to put that on hold, but now I am feeling better and better, getting better every day.

"The No.1 thing is better safe than sorry. You have to take this thing slow, but when it is time to go, I'm full-go."

The Tennessee Titans take the field for practice on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

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