NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Titans had not seen Brett Kern punt in weeks.
They were not exactly worried about it.
Kern was returned to the active roster Friday after having missed the last three games with an injury and a stint on the Reserve-COVID 19 list. The move had been expected since Tuesday, when Johnny Townsend, who filled in during Kern’s absence, was released.
“It’s been a while, with the injury and stuff like that,” special teams coach Craig Aukerman said a day earlier. “We’ve been in constant communication with Brett and seeing how he’s doing and how he’s feeling.
“Here’s the one thing I do know: Brett has been doing this for a very long time. I don’t know if it’s like riding a bike for him, but this guy’s a professional. He’s going to understand what needs to happen and his technique and his form, and I’m sure he’ll let us know how he feels when he does that.”
Townsend was signed on Sept. 30, a day after Kern first appeared on the injury report because of an issue with his right groin. Kern kicks with his right leg.
On Oct. 12, Kern was added to the Reserve-COVID 19 list, which made him the first Titans player sidelined by the coronavirus since the start of the regular season. That meant he had to remain separate from players and coaches until he cleared all of the required protocols.
Townsend averaged 42.3 yards on 11 punts with a net average of 37.0 yards. He placed two inside the 20 with one touchback.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Kern averaged 47.8 yards with a net average of 43.8 yards in the third three games. He had one punt inside the 20 with no touchbacks.
“Having a guy like that being able to punt for us is obviously a big deal,” Aukerman said. “I think our players miss him. I know I do. It’s going to be fun for him to come back in and punt for us.”