NASHVILLE — The Titans returned to the practice field at Saint Thomas Sports Park on Wednesday and began preparations for Sunday’s season opener against the Cleveland Browns.
Here’s a look at three quick hits from Wednesday:
Santos Passes First Test
The Titans signed kicker Cairo Santos on Wednesday morning, and he was on the field in uniform — No.7 — later in the day.
In fact, Santos passed his first test – he was heckled by defensive lineman Jurrell Casey when the team kicked field goals in practice, and it didn’t faze him.
“He was able to earn the respect of his teammates, which is critical,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said of Santos. “Jurrell (Casey) tried him, talked some crap to him, and those are things I’d hope would happen and he responded and answered very well.”
Santos spent the offseason with the Buccaneers but was released last weekend. He was 9-of-12 on field goals and 17-of-17 on extra points for Tampa Bay in seven games last season, and he also played two games for the Rams, where he was 5-of-6 on field goals and extra points.
Santos said he got the call from the Titans on Monday night, and headed to town for a workout. The team placed Ryan Succop on Injured Reserve on Wednesday.
“I am only here to make every single kick and will worry about one game at a time to help the team win,” Santos said. “If it is for eight games, until (Ryan) comes back, or throughout the season, I’ll just worry about one game at a time. My goal is to make all my kicks for as long as I am here.”
Santos has also played for the Chiefs and Bears in his career. In 62 games, he’s 104-of-125 (83.2 percent) in his career on field goals. Overall, Santos has an 87.2% field goal percentage inside of 50 yards, while also converting seven field goals from 50-plus yards.
“I have been used to it the last couple of years,” Santos said of coming in on short notice. “I am a professional and I go about my business and I know what is expected of me.”
Succop was taken off the team’s Physically Unable to Perform list last month, and he kicked in the team’s final two preseason contests.
Succop admitted, however, he didn’t feel quite right after kicking on Thursday in the preseason finale against the Bears, and after kicking again in practice on Monday he let coaches and front office officials know.
“I don’t quite have that pop back in my leg that I need,” Succop said. “Things are progressing well, but (the knee) isn’t where it needs to be yet. … It wouldn’t be fair to the team for me to go out there right now … if I am not where I needed to be. I just need to continue to strengthen the knee and try and get the pop back in the leg and right now I unfortunately don’t have that.”
Succop made 26-of-30 (86.7 percent) kicks for the Titans in 2018, and he’s 235-of-281 (83.6 percent) during his 10-year NFL career. He joined the Titans in 2014 after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Because Succop made the team’s initial 53-man roster, he’s eligible to return later in the season and he hopes to do so. He said he plans to work hard to give himself a chance to return in the second half of the year.
“I love this team, and I think the hardest part is you feel like you are letting the guys down when you are not out there,” Succop said. “You want to be out there and help them win. But at the same time I know this is a little bump in the road, a little adversity, and I’ll work through it and get better and stronger. I think I’ll come back and be stronger than I was before really.”
Tackle Jack Conklin (knee) did not practice on Wednesday, but Vrabel said he expects him back on Thursday.
Linebacker Reggie Gilbert (knee) also did not practice on Wednesday.
Tackle Dennis Kelly, held out on Monday, was back at work.