Kyle Vanden Bosch sounded confident that he could be close to returning to his starting right defensive end spot, barring any setbacks regarding his groin injury.
Vanden Bosch, who missed Monday night’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, ending his consecutive starts streak at 54 regular-season games, practiced fully with his Tennessee Titans teammates Wednesday during a light workout. Vanden Bosch also ran after practice as well.
“It felt good. I’m glad the game isn’t today. I’m glad I’ve still got some time,” Vanden Bosch said. “I feel like by the end of the week, this should all behind me, and this shouldn’t be an issue the rest of the season.”
Coach Jeff Fisher said that Vanden Bosch likely would have practiced, even if the Titans had had a normal Wednesday practice. The Titans backed down the physical portion of practice because of a shortened week caused by playing Indianapolis on Monday night.
“Had we had a normal practice, I’m confident he would have practiced,” Fisher said.
Vanden Bosch said he has tried to test the injury and feels confident he is on the way to healing and isn’t worried about making the injury worse.
“It’s not a tightness issue. It’s more of just an injury thing. I don’t have a problem getting it loose. It’s just whether the muscle is feeling good or not,” Vanden Bosch said. “All the stuff I’ve done up to this point _ I’ve done some different things to test it _ I haven’t really had any setbacks. Personally, there’s no concern of making it worse.”
The major key for Vanden Bosch, according to Fisher, is how the injury holds up when Vanden Bosch has to make a quick reaction.
“It’s just changing direction. With the groin injury, you can control your movement and your motion and routes and getting in and out of breaks, but it’s when you have to react, that’s where it becomes potentially a problem,” Fisher said. “We’re not being over-cautious; we’re just being very realistic as far as his return.”
Vanden Bosch admitted it was a tough decision to make, not playing in Monday night’s 31-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
“For the most part, the decision was up to me, and it was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Vanden Bosch said. “I could do some things. I couldn’t accelerate coming off of blocks, and I couldn’t run to the ball. That took away, in my opinion, a lot of my effectiveness, and what I contribute to this defense. So again, I had 100 percent confidence in the guys behind me that they could get the job done.”
The Titans lost one of those guys _ Dave Ball _ on the opening kickoff, leaving Jacob Ford and William Hayes to man the spot.
“It’s a concern, especially against Indianapolis with their no-huddle, and we only had seven up and then being down to six. We knew we’d have to rotate,” Vanden Bosch said. “It’s tough to keep guys fresh against those guys, but we did a good job.”
This week, the Titans have another challenge in Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who said Wednesday, “I’d take their front four against any in the game. Those guys are playing at a very high level, even without Vanden Bosch. But with him they’re an incredibly talented defense.”
It is Rodgers’ ability to move in the pocket that helps his receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver make big plays downfield. Vanden Bosch indicated that getting to Rodgers _ the Titans had no sacks Monday night of Peyton Manning, but did get two interceptions _ is key.
“We know in order to win this game, with their receivers, they’re a home run threat on every play, that we have to get to Rodgers and we have to get him on the ground,” Vanden Bosch said.
The only remaining question in that regard is whether Vanden Bosch will be part of that plan.
OTHER INJURIES: Ball and running back Quinton Ganther, both of whom suffered concussions in the Monday night victory over Indianapolis, were held out of Wednesday’s practice, though Fisher said they have not been ruled out of practicing later in the week nor playing Sunday against the Packers.
Two other players, quarterback Vince Young and defensive end William Hayes, missed practice because of illness while Chris Carr was held out because of a sore back.
WAITING: Running back Rafael Little continues to wait for this three-week window as to when he can begin practicing with the team. Little, who tore the ACL in his left knee during Senior Bowl workouts, began the season on the non-football injury list.
NO HELP: The Titans say there is little they can take from playing the Packers in the preseason finale this year into this week’s preparation.
Rodgers played just one snap in the game, hitting Greg Jennings for a 68-yard touchdown pass, before departing.
“In the fourth preseason game you really don’t do much. Their offense and quarterback only played one play,” Fisher said. “There’s some familiarity with the players because you played a couple of series against him. We played the starters but they made substitutions a little early so we have to become familiar with them and their scheme and just everything that they’re doing real quick this week.”
REACHING THE GOAL: LenDale White said after scoring seven touchdowns a year ago, that his goal this year was to score 10. He has already done that in just seven games, and now will have to set his sights higher.
“My goal was to score 10 this year. I scored seven last year, and I wanted to come back and score 10. I’ve reached my goal, but I’ve got to keep going,” White said.
White is on pace to score 22 touchdowns this season. Is a number like that realistic?
“You’ll have to ask ‘Dinger [offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger] that. Tell ‘Dinger to dial me up down there all the time and we can make it happen,” White said.