The Tennessee Titans re-signed seven players who were in their training camp to the practice squad on Sunday.
Chief among them was wide receiver Paul Williams, a third-round pick in 2007 who was released in final cuts on Saturday.
The others signed back by the Titans included offensive linemen Fernando Velasco and Ryan Durand, defensive tackle Mitch King, wide receiver Phillip Morris, fullback Rodney Ferguson and safety Nick Schommer.
The addition of Durand and Schommer back to the practice squad means that all 11 members of the 2009 draft class are still a part of the team.
The Titans are intentionally leaving one spot on open on the practice squad, as Coach Jeff Fisher said the team will “look around” before filling that spot.
Three Titans players who were released in final cuts have already found new homes. The St. Louis Rams claimed defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey off waivers, while the New York Jets grabbed tight end Matthew Mulligan and punter A.J. Trapasso.
Craving the spotlight
In 2006, Keith Bulluck dubbed himself as “Mr. Monday Night,” then went out and had three interceptions on Monday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints.
So, with the Titans in a nationally televised game to kick off the season in Pittsburgh, is Bulluck ready to be rechristened as “Mr. Thursday Night?”
“I’m Mr. Monday Night, a.k.a., Mr. 24/7,” Bulluck said. “We can go outside right now and play football against anybody in the world, and I will play great. That’s just what it is. I’m going to stick with my moniker and let that be that.”
But just because it’s a different day of the week doesn’t mean Bulluck isn’t ready for primetime in the season opener.
“If you can’t perform in the bright lights, you’re not much of a performer. Yeah, I like the big stage. I can handle it. I’ve proven it before,” he said.
The two Titans with the biggest injury concerns heading into the season opener, both appear to be progressing.
Cornerback Ryan Mouton, who has been out with a high ankle sprain, was back on the practice field on Sunday.
“He worked today. He’s getting better. Everybody is getting better,” Fisher said. “To me, every rep counts, and he’s got some work ahead of him, but it was good to have him back on the field.”
As for receiver Nate Washington, who is still battling a hamstring injury as he readies to face his former club Thursday night, he did some running, to which Fisher said, Washington’s injury was “getting better.”
With the Titans down to 53 players, quarterback Patrick Ramsey has taken advantage of roster cuts to switch his jersey number from 7 to 11.
No. 11 had been worn by Paul Williams the past two seasons, but when he was released and re-signed to the Titans practice squad Sunday, Williams was donning No. 81.
Fisher also has yet to say who will handle kickoffs and punts in the season opener. Mouton, if he is healthy, Jason McCourty and Javon Ringer are in the mix for the kickoff return position, while Mouton (again based on his health) is also a punt return candidate, Cortland Finnegan or Michael Griffin perhaps being given consideration based on limited past experience.
“We have a real solid plan. We’re not obligated talk about what we’re doing. It’s confidential information. I’m not concerned about our returners,” Fisher said.
Fisher indicated that the decisions to release Ryan Fowler, Quinton Ganther and Mark Jones were tough to make as the team trimmed its roster to 53 players.
“It was not an easy decision,” he said of letting Fowler go. “When Ryan came in here, he really had an impact on our defense and in the locker room. Clearly, he was everything we expected him to be when we signed him from the Cowboys as a restricted free agent.”
Regarding Jones, whose release leaves the Titans uncertain in the return department, Fisher said it came down to numbers.
“Mark’s got skills. Unfortunately, we had to go with five receivers. We didn’t have a spot,” Fisher said. “It doesn’t mean to say that Mark won’t be back. As I mentioned to you, it’s do you like a sixth receiver or returner better than the 10th defensive lineman or the fourth tight end. It’s a numbers thing and that happened all over the league yesterday.”
Ganther was waived/injured after a calf injury in the preseason finale was going to shelve him for approximately six weeks.