Titans have several players working back from injuries

NASHVILLE - Tennessee Titans wide receiver Robert Woods ran over to the sideline during practice to grab a yellow jersey he quickly pulled over his No. 2.

It wasn't the first time during the offseason program that Woods has forgotten the additional piece of gear that signals to teammates to avoid contact during drills. He's also not the only Tennessee player wearing a no-contact jersey while working his way back from injury this year.

Fellow receiver Racey McMath and cornerbacks Caleb Farley and Kristian Fulton joined Woods in yellow on Tuesday. Farley, drafted No. 22 overall by the Titans in 2021, is just happy to be on the field again - no matter what he has to wear - after being one of 26 Tennessee players to land on injured reserve last season.

Farley was limited to three games as a rookie. After fighting through a shoulder injury, he tore the ACL in his left knee on Oct. 18 in the first start of his NFL career.

"It feels amazing," Farley said this week. "It's truly a blessing, and I'm grateful every day I wake up."

With roster flexibility of utmost importance due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL allowed teams to recall an unlimited number of players from injured reserve last season. Tennessee benefited greatly, bringing 15 off injured reserve, with Derrick Henry the last on Jan. 21.

This season, though, NFL teams will be able to bring only eight players off injured reserve, which puts a premium on getting as healthy as possible and staying that way. The Titans finished last season having used 91 players, the record for an NFL campaign without a strike.

Woods is a veteran going into his 10th year in the league, but this hasn't been a typical offseason for him. He tore his left ACL on Nov. 12 and was traded by the Los Angeles Rams to the Titans in March. Even if the yellow jersey limits what he can do on the field, being there allows Woods - expected to be Tennessee's top receiver this season - to become familiar with a new offense and new teammates while working on his recovery.

Farley has a chance to earn the starting cornerback spot opposite Fulton, and Woods said the players are helping push each other through rehab while talking a lot.

"Being able to just pick each other's brains of why I do a certain release or what he prefers as a corner in press (coverage)," Woods said recently. "What's the range, but like really just being able to get reps, being on the side and being off the field. But it goes hand in hand. I'm learning from him. He learned from me."

Farley was considered possibly the top cornerback prospect in 2021 until a second back surgery that March dropped him down the list, allowing the Titans to take him later in the first round. Farley said he had forgotten all about his back injury until asked about it Tuesday, and while the cornerback has no timetable for when he's fully cleared by the Titans regarding his ACL recovery, he is trusting the training staff and coaches to make the right decision.

When he is back on the field, Farley's goals remain unchanged.

"I want to win. I want to dominate," he said. "That's my mentality."