Only three Titans absent from phase three of OTAs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Just three of 89 Titans stayed away from the team’s open practice session Tuesday, the second of phase three of voluntary organized team activities.

Kevin Byard, Kristian Fulton and Denico Autry were not at team headquarters.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) stretches during an OTA practice at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
Derrick Henry/ © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

Six others were not on the field but were inside dealing with varying degrees of injuries: Caleb Farley (back), Monty Rice, Harold Landry (ACL recovery), Dillon Radunz (ACL recovery), Trevon Wesco and Sam Okuayinonu.

Byard has stayed away from the team since he was asked to take a pay cut early in the offseason. It’s not an uncommon move for a team to make such a request of even a productive veteran, but clearly it did not go down in a palatable way that made the safety feel it necessary for him to be with the team at this stage.

Mike Vrabel said he saw Byard on the gold course Sunday and things sound cordial between them for sure.

Fulton was one of two players Vrabel called out as repeat offenders for soft tissue injuries, and they made no effort to re-sign the other as David Long hit free agency. Turron Davenport reported the cornerback has been working with David Alexander of DCB Fitness, who has worked with LeBron James and Dewayne Wade.

That’s good that Fulton has changed his offseason routine, but what Vrabel was urging was a change of what Fulton does while he is away. Staying away when the team gathers is not a smart move for a player heading into the final year of his contract.

Autry is a grizzled veteran who has not been around at this stage in the past.

Derrick Henry has not always been around at this time of year, but got some work in. He declined to talk but it seems a safe presumption that he felt like being around for an early look at the new offense would be a good idea.

So the overall attendance is a solid showing and a great early buy-in for this version of Vrabel’s team.

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