Titans use bye, long weekend to get players healthy
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee wide receiver Rishard Matthews is questionable for Sunday’s game in Indianapolis after not practicing Friday.
He’s the only player listed on the Titans’ team’s injury report this week.
Matthews is second on the Titans with 41 receptions and has a team-best 626 yards receiving. He was placed on the injury report Thursday after being limited with the hamstring issue, and coach Mike Mularkey said Matthews could be a game-time decision.
“I’ll just see how it goes. I feel good, though, and I think I’ll be fine,” Matthews said.
Mularkey said the Titans just wanted to give the wide receiver a day to rest his hamstring and will know more Saturday. As insurance, veteran wide receiver Harry Douglas began practicing this week after being placed on injured reserve with an injured knee the day after the initial 53-man roster was set. Douglas could be activated from injured reserve anytime because the team opened his 21-day evaluation period on Monday.
Matthews’ injury is the only issue facing the Titans (6-4), who otherwise are relatively healthy.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota missed one game with a hamstring injury, and he recently had minor shoulder and ankle issues. Running back DeMarco Murray has not missed time, but he has had issues with a hamstring injury since training camp. Tight end Delanie Walker was bothered by a hamstring and a bone bruise in his ankle.
On Wednesday before Matthews’ hamstring tightened up, Mularkey said having an empty injury report might be a first for him.
“I’d say that’s a rarity but I give the players a lot of credit for putting us in that position, and our training staff and our strength staff,” Mularkey said. “A lot of work goes in to keeping these guys healthy, but the players have to spend some time on their own to put themselves in this position.”
One reason for the return to health is the Titans’ bye week, which came Oct. 29 . That, combined with two extra days off after a Thursday night game in Pittsburgh last wee k, sure gave the Titans a physical break. And while players don’t like the short turnaround that comes with playing on Thursdays, Walker said the extra time that comes after helped him a lot.
“You’ve two days after that to be off and get treatment, and that’s basically what I did,” Walker said. “I think it was some time what we needed, especially with it being a long season.”
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