Now starting at quarterback for the Tennessee Titans … Rusty Smith?
It’s not likely, but the rookie out of Florida Atlantic did all the work Wednesday during an abbreviated workout because Vince Young and Kerry Collins did not participate because of injuries.
Collins, who played the majority of Monday’s victory at Jacksonville, rested an injured finger on his throwing hand. Young limped out to the practice field midway through the 60-minute walk-through with his left knee and left ankle under the wraps of protective gear.
Collins downplayed the severity of his injury and gave every indication he would be ready for Sunday’s game against Philadelphia (noon, LP Field).
“It’s just kind of one of those things that happens – a lot, actually –play quarterback,” Collins said. “You bang it on a helmet and it’s sore for a couple days. I played through it the other night and finished the game.
“(Wednesday) was an opportunity to get another day of rest because we just kind of had a walk-through. But I’ll be out there (Thursday) and should be fine.”
He classified the state of the finger as “a little tender.”
Young, who was hurt fewer than seven minutes into Monday’s game did not speak with the media following the workout.
Coach Jeff Fisher addressed Young’s situation.
“He’s better, he would not have practiced (Wednesday) had we had a full practice, but he’s better and he’s day-to-day,” Fisher said.
Depending on Young’s status Sunday, Smith could be the backup to Collins. The seventh-round draft pick has been the emergency, third-string quarterback in each of the six games thus far and has not seen the field.
“(Smith) pays attention and knows what to do,” Fisher said. “If he has to go in, he’ll do pretty well.”
Assuming Collins works with the first-team offense on Thursday and Friday, it will be the most he has done so since the start of the regular season.
Even with the majority of his practice time coming with the scout team, he completed 11 of 16 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. In so doing, the 15-year veteran passed Dan Fouts for 10th on the NFL’s all-time completions list and raised his total to 3,307.
“It helps that I’ve been in the offense for three years; it also helps that I do scout team and I try to stay sharp that way,” Collins said. “I think that helps me. Obviously, it’s not the same as being out there and getting first-team offensive reps.
“… I get excited about the opportunity to maybe make a play this weekend. But I temper that with the fact that there’s a lot of work to do between now and then, and we have to wait and see how things go with Vince. Up until that point, I’ll just take advantage of the opportunity to get some reps this week.
“If my number gets called on Sunday, I’ll be ready to roll.”
• The Titans are not the only team that has benefited from having two capable quarterbacks on the roster. The Eagles (4-2) have started both Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb, who currently are first and second, respectively, in the NFC in passer rating.
Vick’s is an NFL-best 108.8 and Kolb’s is 98.3 Young’s is 98.8, and Collins’ is 91.4, but he does not have enough pass attempts to qualify for the league leaders.
Kolb will start against the Titans.
“I think the biggest thing that that helps you do is focus week in, week out on getting a victory,” Kolb said. “Instead of looking at the whole picture sometimes and, ‘man, where is this going to take my career’ and all that kind of stuff. Just focus on winning the next football game because you are fighting for the top spot and we have a tough game with the Titans this week, so there is no looking forward.”
• Young and Collins were not the only ones who did not practice for Tennessee. Defensive tackles Tony Brown (knee) and Jason Jones (shoulder) and tight end Bo Scaife (groin) were spectators as well.
• The Titans will conduct a coat drive at Sunday’s game.
Fans are asked to bring donations of new and/or used coats, which will be collected by the Liv2Giv Foundation. Collection sites will be manned near stadium entrances from 10 a.m. until kickoff.