DENVER – In the hours leading up to kickoff of Monday night's season opener against the Broncos, Titans receiver Corey Davis went through an extensive on-field workout with members of the organization watching him closely.
Davis, listed as questionable leading up to the contest with a hamstring injury, needed to convince the onlookers he was physically able to go. Earlier in the day, the Titans had called up an extra receiver from the practice squad, just in case.
As it turned out, Davis was more than ready.
One of the guys watching him in pregame – head coach Mike Vrabel – handed him a game ball for his efforts in the team's 16-14 win over the Broncos.
"I'm really proud of his effort to get himself to this game," Vrabel said of Davis. "I think admittedly, he's probably not at 100-percent, but I was happy to present him with a game ball in there in front of the team for his effort, toughness and competitiveness."
Davis led the team with seven receptions and 101 receiving yards, including a long reception of 23 yards in the second quarter. His reception total tied for the second-highest number of his career, and his yardage total ranked third in his career.
"If I am going to travel, … my mindset is 'I'm traveling, it's a business trip, so I am going to go out there and play.' I was questionable, but I had it in my mind I was going to play," Davis said.
"It just felt good to get the game ball. It was a long road for me personally, so to have coaches and players believe in me all the way through, it meant a lot. Personally, I felt good going out there. Me and Tanny were clicking, and I'm happy we got the W."
Davis made touch catches, and he made big catches.
One of them was a nine-yard catch for a first down during the game-winning scoring drive late in the fourth quarter.
With the performance, Davis became the eighth player in franchise history to record a 100-yard receiving game in a Week 1 road game. It was the team's second consecutive Week 1 game with such a performance after A.J. Brown recorded 100 yards at Cleveland in the 2019 season opener.
Behind Davis, receivers Adam Humphries (7 catches, 47 yards) and Brown (5 catches, 39 yards) also made important contributions. Tight ends MyCole Pruitt and Jonnu Smith also had one-yard touchdown catches.
But on this night, Davis really stood out.
"He showed true heart out there today," Brown said. "I don't know if he was 100 percent, but he gave 110 percent. He made a lot of big plays. He did his thing today."
The performance also provided optimism for things to come for Davis, and the offense.
Davis, the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, had 43 catches for 601 yards and two touchdowns for the Titans in 2019. In 2018, Davis had a career-high 65 catches for 891 yards and four touchdowns.
"(Corey) was huge," Tannehill said." He came up with some huge catches, scores. I'm really proud of the way he went out and battled. Obviously, just dealing with some things throughout the week and being able to go out and make some huge catches for us, successful catches in traffic, big catch and runs as well. I'm really proud of the way Corey played. [He's] obviously a talented guy and he made big plays for us."