NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Proof the Tennessee Titans are healthier now than before their bye came in a roster announcement Monday. Seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones and two others can start practicing with the team, a big step toward rejoining the active roster.

The Titans also designated rookie wide receiver Racey McMath and safety Dane Cruikshank to return to practice. Getting this trio back could be a big boost for the Titans (8-4), who currently sit atop the AFC South and returned to work Monday up a spot to No. 2 in the AFC with five games remaining.

“Those guys have been working extremely hard to get back, which is what we ask everybody that isn’t participating,” Coach Mike Vrabel said. “And, I felt like the training staff, the weight staff, everybody involved, those particular players worked extremely hard. I think it’s beneficial.”

Vrabel said the Titans use technology to help track players and how fast they’re able to run to gauge when someone is ready to start practicing again. Vrabel said it’s helpful to both the team and the players involved to see exactly how fast they ran during games before being injured.

“We can track that and monitor that and show them as they get closer,” Vrabel said. “So that, one, we’re all on the same page and they, two, have a lot of confidence to come back.”

Getting Jones back would be a big boost for an offense that went into the bye scoring just 13 points apiece in a two-game skid. A hamstring issue has limited Jones, 32, to six games this season. But Jones has 21 catches for 336 yards and would be a big boost with 2020 Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Brown also on injured reserve.

Advertisement

The Titans played only four receivers in their last game before the bye, a 36-13 loss to the Patriots. Nick Westbrooke-Ikhine, Chester Rogers, rookie Dez Fitzpatrick and Cody Hollister combined for six catches on 14 passes.

Derrick Henry, the 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, is the biggest name on the Titans’ injured reserve list, currently at 18. Henry was put on injured reserve Nov. 1 and has missed the past four games with a broken right foot.

“He won’t be out there this week,” Vrabel said. “That’s all I can tell you. But I think he’s doing OK.”

BROWNS: Linebacker Jacob Phillips, who suffered a biceps injury during training camp, was designated to return from injured reserve as Cleveland returned from a bye week devoted to getting healthy and recharged for the last five games.

A third-round pick in 2020, Phillips got hurt during the first of two joint practices with the New York Giants on Aug. 19. He was placed on IR on Sept. 21.

The roster move opens a three-week window for Phillips to be activated, but Coach Kevin Stefanski indicated Phillips might be ready soon.

Advertisement

Stefanski said the Browns (6-6) will decide over the next few days if Phillips is ready to play. Cleveland hosts the Baltimore Ravens (8-4) on Sunday in what is for all practical purposes a must win if the Browns want to make the postseason.

WASHINGTON: When the NFL schedule came out in May, Coach Ron Rivera loved that Washington finished the season with five games against NFC East competition.

He told players it was an opportunity if they could still be in the playoff race by this stretch. A four-game winning streak has vaulted Washington to 6-6 and right in the thick of the chase for not only a spot but possibly a second consecutive division title.

“We’re at the part where we control it,” Rivera said. “What’s going to happen to the Washington Football Team is now in our hands. We go out and play the way we’re capable of, we give ourselves a chance, and that’s where we wanted to be.”

Washington could be without top tight end Logan Thomas when the team hosts the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, but Rivera said an MRI did not confirm the worst fears of a torn ACL.

But Washington has dealt with injuries to reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young, fellow pass rusher Montez Sweat, linebacker Jon Bostic, safety Landon Collins and center Chase Roullier, so playing down another starter is nothing new.

Advertisement

JETS: Wide receiver Corey Davis will have core muscle surgery Tuesday and will miss the rest of the season.

Davis left the Jets’ 33-18 loss to Philadelphia early in the fourth quarter Sunday with what the team announced was a groin injury.

Davis had missed one game after injuring his groin against Miami on Nov. 21. He worked his way back last week and had two catches for 15 yards against the Eagles before leaving.

CHARGERS: Wide receiver Keenan Allen was placed on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

Coach Brandon Staley said Allen’s status “is day to day right now, and hopefully we’ll have some good news on him in the next few days.”

The Chargers (7-5) – who are in possession of the AFC’s second wild-card spot – host the New York Giants this week before a key matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 16.

Advertisement

OBIT: Bill Glass, a four-time Pro Bowl defensive end with Cleveland and member of the Browns’ 1964 NFL championship team, has died. He was 86.

The Browns said Glass died Sunday night surrounded by family at his home in Waxahachie, Texas. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Glass spent seven seasons with the Browns, who acquired him from the Detroit Lions as part of the trade involving quarterback Milt Plum.

An All-American offensive guard at Baylor, Glass switched to defense when he began his pro career in 1957 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. A year later he joined the Lions, who had drafted him with the No. 12 overall pick.

Glass spent four seasons with Detroit before going to Cleveland, where he became a star. He was credited with 16 1/2 sacks in 1965, back when they were not recognized as an official stat by the league.

Glass finished with 87 1/2 sacks, getting 77 1/2 in his seven seasons with the Browns. He retired after the 1968 season and was inducted into the Browns Legends program in 2007.

After he retired, Glass, who was born in Texarkana, Texas, started his own ministry, Bill Glass Behind the Walls, working extensively with helping reform prisoners.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.