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Golden Tate Added to Battered WR Group

The 11-year veteran was added after Marcus Johnson was placed on injured reserve.

NASHVILLE – As a senior at Pope John Paul II High School in 2006, Golden Tate was a can’t-miss attraction. Even members of the Tennessee Titans led by defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth occasionally made the short drive north to Hendersonville, Tenn. in to see the undersized playmaker in person.

Now, everyone will get to see Tate in a Titans uniform.

The team announced Tuesday that it has signed the 33-year-old wide receiver who has been a free agent since the New York Giants cut him in March. At this point, he is on the practice squad, but the expectation is that he will be on the active roster by Sunday, when the Titans (8-3) face the New England Patriots (7-4) in a critical AFC contest.

Tate will attempt to buffet a wide receiver group wracked by injuries in recent weeks. The Titans finished Sunday’s 22-13 loss to the Houston Texans with three healthy players at that position after Marcus Johnson was injured late in the first half and A.J. Brown was knocked from the contest late in the third quarter.

For now, the Titans have five wide receivers – Tate, Brown, Chester Rogers, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and rookie Dez Fitzpatrick – on the active roster and three others -- Cody Hollister, Mason Kinsey and Austin Mack -- on the practice squad.

Johnson has been placed on injured reserve, which is where he spent the first four weeks of the regular season. His return means that he is out for the remainder of the season with no possibility to be back on the active roster.

Brown’s status for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots will be determined as the week progresses.

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Tennessee also is without Julio Jones, who is on injured reserve and must stay there for at least one more game, with a hamstring injury that has kept him out of five of the first 11 games. Franchise officials also recently released Josh Reynolds, a key free-agent addition early in the offseason. Two others, Cameron Batson and rookie Racey McMath, are also on injured reserve.

The Titans have played nine different wide receivers this season and all of them have missed at least one game.

About a month before the start of training camp, Tate said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he would “love to go back home to Tennessee.”

A second-round pick (60th overall) by Seattle in 2010, Tate (5-foot-10, 197 pounds) has 695 receptions for 8,278 yards and 46 touchdowns in 160 career games with four teams (Seattle, Detroit, Philadelphia, and the New York Giants). He had four straight seasons with 90-plus receptions (2014-17) while with Detroit and topped 1,000 receiving yards in three of those years.

He is tied for seventh among all active players in receptions and is 13th in receiving yards.

In 12 games for the Giants last season, he caught just 35 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns.

“To me, I feel like a fine wine. I get better (with) age,” Tate said in June. “I haven’t had any major injuries. For the most part, I’m on the field. I think I’ve been great in the locker room. … Things just didn’t go my way as far as getting the ball. But I made the most of the opportunities that I did have. If you look at when I did get the ball in my hands, I was making contested catches in the slot, down the field, wherever it may be.

“I’m just looking forward to getting opportunities, I have no doubt that once I get opportunities that I’ll prove how good I am and how good I’ve been over the years.”