Buck Reising, Tennessee Titans reporter and host of Tackling Music City, provides a status update on rookie linebacker Rashaan Evans.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Wednesday was the first time Tennessee Titans linebacker Rashaan Evans had been heard from on the record since the early days in training camp. His comments regarding his return to action for the first time since leaving practice July 28 with an undisclosed injury shed no light on his current situation.
“I really don’t have a target date right now. It really could be at any time,” Evans said in Tennessee’s locker room at St. Thomas Sports Park before heading out for the days work. “For me, right now, just making sure that I be a careful as possible.”
Evans participated in stretching prior to practice and a few reps in individual drills before being apparently pulled from them. That would be as much as the Auburn, Ala. native would get in what almost felt like his first day back.
“(Titans Director of Sports Medicine) Todd (Toriscelli) does a great job with the Return to Play and starts them out with the jog-through and then we go into the individual (drills) and, if its feeling OK and doing OK with whatever they’re working through, then we give them more,” coach Mike Vrabel said of Evans’s situation. “And if it doesn’t, then Todd, you know, pulled him back out of there and so Rashaan (Evans) wasn’t feeling great after individual so, you know, we’ll give him more treatment and we’ll give him some more time. Hopefully, as soon as he’s ready, we’ll get him back out there.”
The for the 22nd overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, Evans was expected to help mitigate the loss of inside linebacker Avery Williamson, who departed Nashville for the New York Jets in free agency. Incumbent starter Wesley Woodyard will hold down his position in 2018 but veteran acquisition Will Compton and second-year player Jayon Brown have spent time alternating as Woodyard’s running mate in Tennessee’s first-team base defense through training camp and the first two preseason games in Evans absence. Brown possesses superior skills in coverage and has had both an exceptional camp and preseason but his size (6-0, 226) can be exploited, on occasion. Compton has received praise from the coaching staff but has not consistently shown the ability to shed blockers to make tackles.
Evans, for his part, appears to be relishing these much-discussed “mental reps” we hear so much about.
“I’m able to pick and choose times that I can come in the film room because I have access now, the fact that I have so much time,” Evans said. “I mean, for right now, to kind of be honest with you, I think it kind of helped me because I actually got to learn every single part of the defense. I think it’s just a plus.”
The Titans return to the practice field Thursday before traveling to Pittsburgh Friday for Saturday’s third preseason game against the Steelers.