Ty Sambrailo

Ty Sambrailo (70) hopes to be healthy soon after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year.

The Tennessee Titans brought back tackle Ty Sambrailo for 2021, and the expectation appears to be that Sambrailo will battle newcomer Kendall Lamm and perhaps a draft pick for the starting right tackle job.

That opening was created with the Titans’ surprising release of Dennis Kelly in a salary cap-related move.

For Sambrailo, who came to the Titans last year as a free agent pickup from the Atlanta Falcons, it is an opportunity to stay with a club he is familiar and comfortable with, but also perhaps the chance to be a starter in the NFL. Sambrailo, 29, has played in 67 games with the Denver Broncos, Falcons and Titans over six years with 18 starts. Five of those came last year when he stepped in after Taylor Lewan suffered a torn ACL against Houston. Sambrailo played those five games, then sustained a season-ending knee injury himself, and is now battling back from that situation.

“I can’t obviously dive into too many details, but I’m almost there. It’s been a long haul, but I’m almost there,” Sambrailo said.

As for the competition at the right tackle spot, Sambrailo says he will work hard and let things fall where they may.

“I just control what I can control. I’m constantly preparing myself to go start, if and when needed. I’m always kind of working toward that, but at the same time, there are things that are outside of my control sometimes,” he said.

After Sambrailo went down, the Titans finished the year with David Quessenberry as their starting left tackle.

“ Obviously playing in the league as long as I have, every year there is a story of injuries and a storyline of how they kind of come about,” Sambrailo said. “So last year, we got hit. Both tackles went down. Losing Taylor was pretty tough, and then David came in and played pretty well. It was nice to see there’s no fall off with the guys you go to battle with every day. “

As for the loss of Kelly, Sambrailo chalked it up to the business side of football.

“Free agency is always kind of a weird time of year for everyone in the business. It’s tough for a lot of people and it’s great for a lot of people. I’ve never lost sight of that on both ends. I’m usually just kind of concerned with myself and trying to get better daily,” he said.