Rookie first-round pick Kenny Britt will make his long-awaited debut for the Tennessee Titans in Friday’s practice, as the team will remove him from the physically unable to perform list.
Britt, who has been bothered by a hamstring injury and conditioning issues as a result of that, has been working to return to the practice field.
“The trainers have been working me hard, and working with the strength and conditioning coach, and running routes and I felt good,” Britt said. “I’ve been doing a lot of leg work day in and day out, and I’m trying to get my legs and endurance back together. They gave me a little rest today in the morning, and I did a little conditioning again in the afternoon.”
Britt won’t play in Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game against Buffalo in Canton, Ohio, but should practice next week and play in the home preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 15.
“I was a little disappointed that it was my first preseason game and my first time with an NFL team,” Britt said. “I’d like to be able to get out there and show them what I have, but right now, it’s just to get in the playbook and learn the plays.”
Titans coach Jeff Fisher said the timing makes sense for the rookie.
“He’s handling the workload and he’s responded to what we’re doing, and based on what he’s doing so far, we feel like timing-wise, it’ll all come into place for him next week,” Fisher said.
The Titans practiced in full pads for the first time in training camp Thursday, and not surprisingly, it was their most physical practice of the season thus far.
“They knew ahead of time that this was going to be the day to turn the week over. We got a lot done,” Fisher said. “I think the last three days we’ve really come together. We need to get out there and push each other around a little bit before we play the ball game.”
Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson upped the ante in a red zone team drill, trading punches with center Doug Datish briefly, then yelling, “Break his [expletive] neck off,” when Stephen Tulloch and Larry Birdine combined to hammer Chris Henry near the goal line.
Speaking of Henry, he took a shot from cornerback Cary Williams in seven-on-seven drills.
As well, there were other shots delivered, as LenDale White leveled Jevon Kearse in a nine-on-seven period, and receiver Lavelle Hawkins somehow managed to hold on to a pass even after Ryan Fowler knocked him airborne.
“It was good for the young guys to get out there and see the speed and tempo of the game with full pads on, because we’re going to be in full pads on Sunday,” linebacker Keith Bulluck said.
In addition to Britt, defensive end Jacob Ford will be out of Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, as will linebacker Colin Allred, who has a sprained ankle.
Receiver Mark Jones has not been ruled out, but continues to miss practice with a hamstring injury, severely diminishing his chances of appearing in Sunday’s game.
Receiver Paul Williams (groin) was back in limited work on Thursday, while safety Nick Schommer (hamstring) returned to practice.
Cornerback Nick Harper was given most of practice off to rest, allowing Cary Williams to practice with the first-team defense.
LenDale White did not finish practice because of what Fisher termed as the flu.