The Tennessee Titans have used 82 players this season, and with 13 transactions made Tuesday, including bringing veterans like receiver Golden Tate and defensive back Buster Skrine on board, the Titans look poised to tie that record if both play Sunday in New England, as expected.
Tate, a former Pope John Paul II player, has already gone up to special teams coach Craig Aukerman and made himself available if needed.
“Golden came up to me when he first got here and said, 'Anything I can do to help the team out, I'm willing to do,'” Aukerman said.
Tate signed with the Titans after Marcus Johnson went on injured reserve a second time and will be ou for the rest of the season. Johnson had handled kickoff returns, something that Tate has experience with, though it appears that Dontrelle Hilliard, another relative newcomer, should gets the first shot.
“Obviously, Golden has been a really good returner in the league since he played at Notre Dame and when he went into the NFL,” Aukerman said. “We'll work with him in practice, especialy today, and that's probably depending upon who's up and who's not. But he'll get an opportunity in practice to do some things.”
Offensive coordinator Todd Downing said getting new players to understand enough of the offense to be able to contribute is imperative.
“First of all, it's assignment sound, if they can grasp the offense and what the assignment is going to be and how that assignment might change based on defensive look and things of that nature,” Downing said. “Knowing where to be and when to be there is a good starting point, and then they can go play fast. They understand what we're trying to accomplish in the scheme and they can go play with a sense of urgency and with the same demeanor, effort and finish that we look for out of everybody else.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Shane Bowen has had to get his share of new players ready on the fly as well. With Skrine being a veteran, it could make the transition a little quicker.
“It's good getting him in here. He met all day yesterday, trying to get caught up. We'll kind of see how the week goes with everything. It'll probably be a little easier for him to plug and play than it is some of these guys who don't have much experience,” Bowen said.
The Titans listed 16 players on the injury report Wednesday with 10 of thos enot practicing.
Those who did not practice Wednesday included Ola Adeniyi (hamstring), A.J> Brown (chest), Nate Davis (concussion), Rashaan Evans (ankle), Naquan Jones (illness), Harold Landry (hamstring(, David Long (hamstring), Jeremy McNichols (ankle) and Teair Tart (ankle).
Backup quarterback Logan Woodside was placed on Covid list on Tuesday, leaving the Titans with recently signed practice squad QB Kevin Hogan as Ryan Tannehill's backup on Sunday.