Tennessee Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch did not practice on Wednesday because of his sore groin, and is not certain how soon he will return to practice or playing.
Vanden Bosch admitted that with the Titans having already clinched a first-round bye and knocking on the door of home-field advantage for the AFC playoffs, that it might be prudent to proceed with extreme caution over the next few weeks to ensure he is ready for the playoffs.
“I’m not worried about [setting it back],” Vanden Bosch said. “This groin, it’s felt great at times, but it’s lingered on for a number of weeks. Me and the team, we’ll try to do everything we can to make sure it’s 100 percent for this last part of the season and especially for the playoffs.
“I think at this point, every game is important, but we’re in the playoffs. We have a bye, and looking, it’s always hard to look ahead, but that playoff game is going to be one of the most important games in the organization’s history. It’s going to be a home game and it’s going to be a playoff game. I want to be out there every chance I can get, but if there’s any erring, it’s probably going to be erring on the side of caution.”
Titans coach Jeff Fisher said Vanden Bosch would be “day-to-day” as far as practice is concerned and could very well be a “game-time decision” Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Vanden Bosch originally suffered the injury Oct. 5 in Baltimore and tried to play through it before finally missed three games totally in a four-game stretch. He made his way back into the lineup and finished games against the New York Jets and Detroit Lions but exited Sunday’s game against Cleveland early.
“Last time, I pushed it to get back, and I pushed it and pushed it and pushed it and probably strung this thing out a little bit longer than I had to,” Vanden Bosch said. “I want to do what the doctors tell me and the trainers tell me. I want to be out there Sunday, but I’ve just got to take it day-to-day and see how it is.”
Other Titans who sat out practice on Wednesday included defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (sore knee), linebacker David Thornton (hip), running back LenDale White (sore knee) and starting cornerbacks Nick Harper (ankle) and Cortland Finnegan (hamstring). Running back Quinton Ganther (hamstring) was limited.
NO RESPECT: White, who rushed for 1,110 yards last season as the Titans featured back, said Wednesday he still hopes to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season, despite splitting carries with Chris Johnson this season.
White has 674 yards on 170 carries this season, meaning he would need to average about 109 yards per game over the final three weeks to reach 1,000 yards for the second straight season.
“[Johnson] has his 1,000, but that’s still a goal of mine this year,” White said. “They’re going to feed him. I’m still trying to go for it. I’m going to push as hard as I can to get over that mark.”
If he were able to do that, he and Johnson would become only the fourth tandem of running backs in NFL history to be 1,000-yard teammates.
Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick did it during the Miami Dolphins’ perfect 1972 season, and Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier turned the trick in 1976. The last time it was accomplished was in 1985 when current Titans running backs coach Earnest Byner teamed with Kevin Mack to accomplish the milestone.
White joked that he really didn’t believe that his position coach had something so unusual.
“Earnest Byner. I don’t know what century that was in,” White said. “I don’t know what defenses they were playing, so I’m not validating that. If that was in the new century, I might shake his hand, but if that was in the 1800s, I’ve got to let it pass.”
HOMECOMING: Vince Young has endured a tumultuous season in 2008, but this weekend, Young will be back in familiar haunts, as he returns to Houston with his Titans teammates for the first time since the opening week drama unfolded and he eventually landed as the backup to Kerry Collins.
“It’s definitely special. I haven’t been home in so long, probably August,” Young said. “I’ll go get a haircut like usual, and just eat and get back. I told my mom to get something to eat for the guys on the plane ride back.”
Young said teammates Bo Scaife and Chris Johnson would probably accompany him to his mother’s house, and that he is happy to be back in Texas, where he is still revered as a hometown hero.
“It will definitely be good to get home and get back in front of the fans, the Houstonians and everybody back home,” Young said. “I know they’re definitely going to be excited to see me, and I’m definitely going to show love back to them like always. It’s definitely going to be fun to get back home.”
BOWLING: Fullback Ahmard Hall was sporting a belt from winning in a bowling league of Titans players, but White said it was a one-time thing and not something to get carried away with.
“He’s another guy that wins one time, and he gets a belt. There are guys around here that have beaten him six or seven times,” White said.
White claims to have bowled a high game of 225.
“I’ve got finesse. I ride that outside line, and it comes back in. It does C’s on the wood. I see the PBA, and I should be in there,” White said.
Asked who is the worst of their bowling group, White replied, “Keith Bulluck, horrible. He ranges anywhere from 60 to about 110.”