NASHVILLE, Tenn. — There’s a neighborhood basketball court around the corner from the New Jersey house that
Britt played on the court during his youth and returned a couple of weeks ago. The court hosted a few pick-up games and became an unofficial validator that Britt has fully recovered from a torn ACL and MCL early during the 2011 season and multiple knee surgeries last offseason.
Britt played with four others in an every-man-for-himself style of game as well as some three-on-three games that teamed him with his wife.
Victories each time, he said, but they had so much more meaning.
“What really made me get to the point that I know I’m back to myself was a couple of weeks ago and it was the first time I’ve played basketball since my injury,” Britt said. “That’s a sport that’s more stop and go than anything. As a wide receiver, we run fast and we stop, but basketball has more transitions where you have to stop and transition fast every single play.
“I had no problems jumping,” Britt added. “I had no problems landing, and we were on the blacktop. We played a couple of games and my knee didn’t swell up, my knee didn’t bother me when I was playing, so that gave me my confidence.”
A year ago Britt missed a significant portion of the Titans’ offseason program. He spent many days two fields removed from the action, with no helmet and sometimes no shirt. He ran and ran and ran some more.
It’s not unusual for receivers to do a substantial amount of running in practice, but there’s usually a football thrown their way every few plays as positive reinforcement. There was much more distance between Britt and that reinforcement last year but he kept moving toward his goal.
“It’s been a long way. It’s been a long journey for me, starting with the injury and the healing process,” Britt said. “I’m happy for myself because when you come off an injury like that and then you have your knee scoped and then you have to have another scope on your leg, it’s frustrating and brings you to a point of ‘Can you get back to yourself?’
“Going into 2012 it made me think about it because I wasn’t with the guys in OTAs,” Britt continued. “I wasn’t with the guys in camp. Going into that season I was really roughing it because I was battling through my knee problems. Coming into this offseason makes me feel so much better because I haven’t had any issues. I’ve been training hard but I don’t want to have setbacks. I’m out here. I’ve been through OTAs and felt good and I’m getting excited for the season.”
Britt played in 14 games last season and set a career high with 45 receptions. He gained 589 yards and caught four touchdown passes. It was significant progress from where he was last July but didn’t quite resemble the torrid pace in which he began 2011 with 14 catches for 271 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games.
He suffered the knee injury the following week, sending him on a winding path that he thinks he’s finally conquered.
“I’m feeling back to the way I was in 2011, and I’m real excited about it.”