Titans enter game week: ‘We’re preparing to win’

Sports

FILE – Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11), quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) and Julio Jones (2) take a break during NFL football training camp in Nashville, Tenn., in this Wednesday, July 28, 2021, file photo. Wide receiver A.J. Brown campaigned on social media for the Titans to make Julio Jones his teammate. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Game. Week.

After an off-season taken up by tight-cap-induced goodbyes, blockbuster free agent acquisitions and vaccination rates, the NFL season officially kicks off this week.

When the Titans host the Cardinals in their opener on Sunday, they’ll go from an off-season of self-improvement to a slightly different focus.

“We’re at that stage where we’re preparing to win,” said Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, who enters his fourth season in that role. “We’ve been through the training camp, we talked about the foundation that you try to build, developing roles and establishing roles on this football team. I think now we’re at that point where you have to prepare to win.”

The anticipation is equal to the expectations this team has for 2021. The excitement is amplified by the return of full stadiums.

“Honestly, just sitting this weekend watching college football, some of those atmospheres are like ridiculous,” said Titans safety Kevin Byard. “I mean, you really can’t replicate that type of energy. The crowd noise. So I’m, like I said, going to be really excited. I’m expecting an electric stadium or atmosphere out there at Nissan.”

Before the game, there’s some business the team still needs to take care of. Headed into this week, five players were on the Reserve-COVID list. Two more players came off that list today. Tight end Geoff Swaim has been elevated to the active roster while wide receiver Justin March-Lillard was activated off the list, but immediately waived.

As of Monday, three players remain out of the office due to COVID: center Ben Jones, right guard Nate Davis and guard Cole Banwart.

Additionally, defensive back Chris Jones and offensive lineman Corey Levin, who was just claimed off waivers five days ago, have both been waived.

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