WalkerOTA19 1NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Delanie Walker was on the field and looking smooth for the Titans Tuesday at an OTA practice open to the local media, a development I found encouraging and was more than I expected.

On a day when Ryan Succop and Adoree Jackson (who had a foot or ankle procedure this offseason and has been in a boot, per Ian Rapoport) didn’t practice, four others in various stages of recovery from knee injuries were also out: Jack Conklin, Jonnu Smith, Jurrell Casey and Jeffery Simmons.

But Walker, who dislocated his ankle and did additional damage in Miami on Sept. 9 was on the field into a team period where he ran four snaps before trading his helmet for a baseball cap.

I thought he ran smoothly and looked like himself, and while they were out there Monday with no media I would have [Unlocked]

thought Walker’s presence would have added a bit more pep to the proceedings that seemed somewhat flat. At times Mike Vrabel had more pace than his team did.TicketsCMA2

“I missed it,” Walker said. “This is the plan that they’ve got for me. I’m happy with the plan. I’m just taking steps. I missed a lot of football. I’m just glad for the opportunity to be back out here running around with my teammates. I felt like I am getting back to my old self.”

Walker said he dropped a few pounds thinking it would be better on his ankle during recovery, that he’s not trying to do anything too physical at the moment and that he thinks he’s at about 85 percent.

Without Smith and with Walker not going the whole way, several other tight ends got a lot of chances. We saw a lot of MyCole Pruitt, who seemed to be laboring at times, and had a drop.

Other observations of note:

It would be unwise to scratch Tajae Sharpe from your wide receiver roster at this point. He figured prominently in the mix at the position and the Titans had their full stable available. I would think his dependable route running and ability to convert third downs still has value to Arthur Smith, though that special teams hole in his resume can be a problem down the road if everyone is doing their jobs.

The receivers stuck around for extra work after practice, with Corey Davis doing some work with second-rounder A.J. Brown, a nice thing to see come to life so quickly. Davis made a couple nice leaping catches during the course of practice.

apple icon 144x144 precomposedWith Jackson out and Dane Cruikshank one of a handful of players in a yellow jersey that seemed to indicate they should be handled with extra care, fourth-round pick Amani Hooker was in the mix, playing with a front-line defense in one seven-on-seven drill.

Mariota was up and down. He had to move to his right in one seven-on-seven play where it should be easy to pick apart the defense, but he then found Sharpe with a pretty pass over the middle. Another time in the drill he went deep left for Taywan Taylor and got picked by LeShaun Sims.

We've heard plenty from Mariota and I wasn't alone in wanting to talk to Ryan Tannehill. He's the most significant newcomer who we've yet to hear from. But he's the only player we've not met or heard from yet. The team said he will speak in a press conference setting next week. Mariota fielded questions about his new backup, including one from me on the importance of Tannehill not playing this season.

I got to Take a Lap with Kenny Vaccaro which was a good time and will post Wednesday.

Only two early segments of practice were open for photos and videos. You can see more at my Instagram.

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