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Titans Coordinator Todd Downing both teaching and learning from  Julio Jones

Titans Coordinator Todd Downing both teaching and learning from  Julio Jones

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The Extra Point: Titans Not Concerned Julio Jones Won't Play in Preseason Opener

Don't expect to see a lot of proven veterans play as the first full weekend of the 2021 NFL preseason gets under way Thursday.

Even though the NFL season kicks into another gear this weekend with the first full week of preseason games, and most teams will only play the exhibition games due to the revamped 17-game regular season, don't expect to see a lot of the proven players for a while yet. 

That includes those on new teams, like former Alabama Crimson Tide standout wide receiver Julio Jones, who was traded from the Atlanta Falcons during the offseason. 

He hasn't been practicing lately after sustaining what was described as a minor injury, and won't play in the preseason opener Friday, ironically against the Falcons. If anything, Jones has been focussing more on getting used to his new offensive coordinator Todd Downing (see video). 

Per All Titans, the passing game has sort of been on hold, but no one's panicking. 

“It’s tough not having the guys out there to be able to work on the routes, work on the offense and stuff,” said Josh Reynolds, a free-agent addition during the offseason. “But I mean, they’re professionals, man. We know they’re doing the right thing to not fall behind on the offense."

Reynolds added about eventually having everyone back and on the field together: “It’s going to be fun, man. I’m excited. I’m excited for it.”

RELATED: 2021 Alabama Crimson Tide Players in the NFL Tracker: Preseason Week 1

So which wide receivers will get a bulk of the playing time against the Falcons? Try the nine players behind the expected starting three, including some with NFL experience (Chester Rogers, Marcus Johnson, Cameron Batson, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Fred Brown), those who have been in the league for a year but have yet to play in a regular season game  (Kalija Lipscomb and Mason Kinsey) and two picks in the 2021 NFL Draft (Dez Fitzpatrick and Racey McMath).

“It’s a stacked receiver room, there is no doubt about it,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “It is going to be a big competition throughout this training camp is to see who comes out of there. Think that is a nod to [general manager] Jon Robinson and [coach Mike] Vrabel for being able to put that room together and that competition together in that room. Obviously a big, strong, tough, physical group."

Read More

The Extra Point is a regular feature on BamaCentral, and often includes video and other elements from our FanNation partners. Other recent segments include:

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Week 1 of Dolphins Training Camp Was About Tua Tagovailoa

Keeping Up With Alabama's Players in the NFL, Like Carson Tinker

Derrick Henry's Workload a Hot Topic with the Titans

How Close is Marlon Humphrey to Being the NFL's Best Cornerback?

You Know the Season is Near When Injured Players Starting Ramping it Up

Even though the NFL season kicks into another gear this weekend with the first full week of preseason games, and most teams will only play the exhibition games due to the revamped 17-game regular season, don't expect to see a lot of the proven players for a while yet. 

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