The Tennessee Titans’ first-round pick in this year’s draft and their highest profile free agent addition are among the player who are unavailable for the start of training camp.
Cornerback Caleb Farley was placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list and outside linebacker Bud Dupree was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list Saturday. Both are expected to play major roles in the overhaul of a defense that was historically bad on third down and ranked 28th in yards allowed last season.
Tackle Ty Sambrailo and running back Jeremy McNichols also were placed on the PUP list and offensive lineman Aaron Brewer was placed on the NFI list, which makes five players who will be unable to practice with the team until they pass a physical.
Saturday was the first day that quarterbacks, rookies and injured players were eligible to report for the start of training camp. The rest of the roster is scheduled to report Tuesday, and the first practice session of camp is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Titans made Farley the 22nd overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft despite the fact that he had two back surgeries in roughly a year. Questions about his health (he also missed one full season at Virginia Tech due to a knee injury) were a primary reason that he was available when Tennessee made its selection. Many considered him a top 10 talent physically, but his college career consisted of just 23 games played, the last in 2019.
Dupree signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Titans early in free agency despite a knee injury that ended his 2020 campaign after 11 games. He underwent reconstructive surgery in early December, and the expectation was that he would not be ready to go at the start of training camp. However, the Titans believe he will go a long way to restoring their pass rush, which was one of the NFL’s worst in 2020.
In June, Dupree declared himself “on schedule” in terms of his recovery but did not provide specifics regarding his rehab.
Sambrailo was one of three players who started at left tackle for the Titans in 2020. He played five games in place of Taylor Lewan before he sustained a season-ending knee injury of his own. He is a candidate to be the starter at right tackle but more likely will be the swing tackle (the primary backup on either side) when the season starts.
McNichols is a journeyman who set career-highs with 47 rushes for 204 yards and one touchdown last season as the primary backup to Derrick Henry.
Brewer was a revelation last season as an undrafted rookie who made the active roster out of training camp. He ultimately appeared in 12 games and started once at left guard (Nov. 22 at Baltimore) when Rodger Saffold was injured.