NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mental reps are a catch-all basket. If a guy’s hurt, if he’s getting a day off, four Titans coaches before Mike Vrabel all talked of the urgency and importance of the almighty mental rep.

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(Jamal Davis tries to tackle Marcus Mashall. Photo: George Walker, The Tennessean via pool.) 

Helmetless observers stood watching and while they gave up minimal updates after practice about their injury or cause for not working, they’d tell us about how dialed in they were with their mental reps.

Until Mike Vrabel arrived.

When Vrabel’s got a player who is not practicing, it’s a rarity said player is seen during a training camp practice or the brief segment of a regular-season practice the media can watch. When Vrabel’s got 21 players out, with a few more dropping out along the way, as he did on Monday, they are nowhere to be seen.

Part of it is that Vrabel is seeking to relieve “postural fatigue.”

“The mental reps, just having been through it myself, is a tough ask,” Vrabel said. “…You talk to these gurus, these sports science gurus about postural fatigue. So when you're trying to give a guy some rest or a person some rest, there's some conditioning, some non-impact conditioning, some pool work, whatever it may be, work in the weight room a little bit. They also got some film work in, which I thought was important for those guys on both sides of the ball. They were able to split up and were about to start the process of what that may look like when the season starts.

“So that’s kind of what it looked like. They're working and that's that thing that we've always stressed here, is that whatever the plan is, that everybody is working. Whether you're rehabbing or whether you're getting a day off per se or you're out there practicing, that you're working and that you're trying to improve at something.”

In the meantime, the Titans did some one-on-one tackling after stretch and before their individual period.

The list of those resting or rehabbing Monday:

Adam Humphries
A.J. Brown
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Malcolm Butler
Derrick Henry
Kristian Fulton
Dane Cruikshank
Kevin Byard
Darrnyton Evans
Johnathan Joseph
Rashaan Evans
Jayon Brown
Harold Landry
Ben Jones
Dennis Kelly
Taylor Lewan
Isaiah Wilson
Jonnu Smith
Corey Davis
DaQuan Jones
Jeffery Simmons

Rodger Saffold returned after several days off, but didn’t finish and Cameron Batson also walked off.

Additionally, the two guys who wear No. 20 got hurt: Senorise Perry didn’t finish practice and Kareem Orr got hurt on the last play, when Trevor Siemian overthrew Nick Westbrook-Ikhine up the right side. Amani Hooker pulled up a bit from an angle where he could have really crushed the receiver, but Orr was coming at him from a trailing position and went to the ground, staying down for some time. It looked like a lower left leg issue.

I expect healthy veterans will return to action Tuesday before the team has a day off Wednesday.

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