Titans, Rookie Linebacker Rashaan Evans Seeing Progress


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – First game. Check.

First start. Check.

First tackle. Check.

Titans rookie linebacker Rashaan Evans continues to check off boxes in his first NFL season.

The first-round pick's progress was slowed early because of a hamstring injury, but he's making strides and working his way into a position to help the team more moving forward.

Evans started Sunday's game against the Jaguars, and finished with a tackle. He played 18 snaps on defense, and three more on special teams. It was a jump from the previous week, when he played just one snap on special teams in a win over Houston. Evans was inactive for Week One because of a hamstring injury that's slowed him since early in training camp.

"It felt good, man," Evans said after the game. "They are still working me in, but everything went good. I was able to get my first NFL reps, just get a feel for my first NFL game, and the speed. And I think everything went good.

"It was amazing to be able to get a part of such a big win, and for me to be able to be there, it felt great."

Titans coach Mike Vrabel has said the team is being patient with Evans as he gets up to speed mentally after missing so many practices.

The Titans are afforded patience because of others playing well at the position, including veteran Wesley Woodyard and second-year pro Jayon Brown. Woodyard leads the team in tackles with 35, while Brown is fourth with 16.

Vrabel said Evans is making progress.

The Titans face the Eagles on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

"There was some good things. There was some things that he needs to improve on," Vrabel said of Evans. "Still, his availability and being out there, he made a couple nice plays. Just have to continue to get better and improve. Again, that was his first game, really, defensively.

"(Inside linebackers coach) Tyrone (McKenzie) made a good point, he said it's really like his first preseason game just looking at the grand scheme of things. So, continue to improve, continue to give him things that he can handle and understand, and build a role for him."

Take a look at the best photos from Tennessee's 9-6 victory at Jacksonville on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 at TIAA Bank Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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