Titans WR Rishard Matthews Ready to Face Old Team Once Again


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rishard Matthews spent his first four NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins.

During the offseasons, the Titans receiver still spends a good part of his time in South Florida – he has a home in Fort Lauderdale, roughly 20 minutes away from Hard Rock Stadium, where the Titans kick off the 2018 season on Sunday.

The faces have changed since Matthews left to join the Titans in 2016, however, so there won't necessarily be a homecoming feel for the seventh-year pro. Plus, Matthews faced his old team in 2016 and 2017 as well.

"It's just another game at this point," he said this week.

What's most important is he's in a position to play.

After missing practices during the offseason, Matthews was taken off the team's Physically Unable to Perform list at the end of last month, and he's ready to go.

"I'm excited," Matthews said. "And I think I am as good as I am going to be right now. I'm ready to go in there and contribute wherever they need me to.

"I feel good about (the) offense. A lot of people have a chance to make a lot of plays in this offense, so I feel good."

Over the past two seasons, Matthews has led the team with 1,740 receiving yards and 13 touchdown receptions, and he's ranked second on the team behind tight end Delanie Walker with 118 catches. His 14.7 yards per reception average ranks ninth among all NFL players with at least 100 receptions during that time.

Matthews caught 53 passes for 795 yards and four touchdowns in 2017, one year after catching 65 passes for 945 yards and nine touchdowns.

After working without him through the offseason and training camp, the Titans are glad to have him back.

"I'm happy to have him out there," quarterback Marcus Mariota said. "He's another weapon for us and somebody that can go out there and make plays."

The Titans have six receivers on the team's 53-man roster at the start of the season.

In addition Matthews, receivers Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, Tajae Sharpe, Darius Jennings and Cameron Batson help round out the group.

After missing so much time, Matthews knows his reps could still be watched early.

"That is the kind of the plan, so wherever they need me," he said. "The young guys have been doing good, so wherever they need me to contribute, I am ready to go in there and do what I have to do."

While on the mend, Matthews spent extra time studying the Dolphins.

Now, he's ready to see them in person.

"I have definitely been watching, and they have a good defense," he said. "We are going to have to go out there and compete, and make plays, and go out there and do what we have to do to keep the defense off the field for as long as possible and get the ball in the end zone."

TitansOnline.com looks back at the team's all-time series against the Miami Dolphins. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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