NASHVILLE – Either Adam Humphries came back too soon or should not have come back at all.
Regardless, the Tennessee Titans placed the wide receiver on injured reserve, the team announced Tuesday. That means that – at best – Humphries won’t be available again until the final week of the regular season.
Humphries now will be unavailable for the stretch run for the second time in as many years. He missed the final four games of 2019 with an ankle injury. Tennessee went 2-2 without him and claimed the final AFC wild card spot. Humphries did not return to the lineup until the AFC Championship game at Kansas City.
“Never wanted to get injured when there's not many games, but it happened and you can learn from every situation,” Humphries said during training camp. “I feel like I learned a lot by watching my team dominate the playoffs last year. I was happy to be able to help them out in the last game.”
This season, Humphries sustained a concussion Nov. 1 at Cincinnati, which caused him to miss the next four contests. He also sat out one game in October because he was on the COVID-19 reserve list.
He returned to action Sunday against Cleveland but caught just one pass for nine yards. He was targeted four times. His failure to catch a pass thrown his way in the final minute of the third quarter resulted in an interception that effectively ended any realistic chance the Titans had to overcome a 31-point halftime deficit. They ultimately lost 41-35.
“We got stops on defense and we were able to move the ball and score,” coach Mike Vrabel said following the game. “Unfortunately, that one there, the interception kind of put a halt to the momentum that we had building there in the second half and really just cost us just the time and the not being able to score.”
In seven games, Humphries caught 23 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. All but two of those receptions came in his first four appearances.
The Titans signed Humphries to a four-year, $36 million free agent contract in 2019 with the idea that he would be their primary slot receiver. Since, he has caught 60 passes for 602 yards and four touchdowns in 19 games.
Without him, Tennessee will look to Cameron Batson, who caught five passes for 35 yards in the four games Humphries missed the concussion. Against the Browns, Batson set a career-high with three receptions and scored his first NFL touchdown, an 8-yard reception with 28 seconds to play.
The practice squad includes Cody Hollister, who has appeared in seven games since the start of last season, and Chester Rogers, who played 53 games (22 starts) for Indianapolis over the past four seasons.