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Munchak: Delanie Walker, Kevin Walter & Robert Johnson to Open Titans Camp on PUP

Posted Jul 24, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans coach Mike Munchak announced Wednesday that three players — Delanie Walker, Kevin Walter and Robert Johnson — will be on the physically unable to perform list when the team opens camp Thursday.

Munchak said Walker, who joined the Titans as a free agent after seven seasons with San Francisco, underwent a knee scope after mini-camp. Munchak said Walker likely will miss the first half or so of training camp but he doesn’t expect a significant setback for the tight end.

“Delanie, as you guys know, practiced most of the time, missed three or four practices in the middle (of organized team activity practices) with his knee being sore, finished up practicing in the mini-camp and actually looked good when he left here,” Munchak said. “Again, we knew he had some soreness and thought the time off would help him. It did, but he still didn’t feel quite good enough, so he went ahead and got scoped a few weeks ago.

“Coming into camp, he’ll definitely at some point play in preseason and do all that,” Munchak continued. “We just wanted to avoid him having to worry about doing something later. I’ve been through the same thing as a player when I’ve made those kinds of decisions, before camp, after camp, should you do it, can you make it through a season without getting your knee cleaned out? I think he reached a point where he didn’t want to deal with it and take that risk, so he should be in great shape but he’ll have to start without practicing for a couple of weeks.”

Walter, who is preparing for his 11th NFL season and first with the Titans, recently underwent a procedure on his back in California. Munchak said Walter’s experience in the league and work ethic will help him minimize the disadvantage of not taking reps with his new team.

“Walter, again, you know the back had been bothering him throughout (OTAs). We kept thinking he’d get back by the end; he didn’t and tried some procedures,” Munchak said. “A lot of times with the back — I’ve had that also — and unfortunately you’re trying to give it time to rest and are not quite sure if it’s going to bounce back because you have to go periods of time with doing no activity.

“About a week or so after he was gone, it just wasn’t getting any better to the satisfaction of being able to play football, so we went ahead and he had his back done, which will limit him through training camp probably a little longer than Delanie, but again those are things you don’t know how quickly, if it’s four weeks, if it’s five weeks, if it’s six weeks. It just depends on how his rehab goes once he gets back.

Johnson played in 12 games last season with three starts but suffered a Lisfranc injury against Houston on Dec. 2 that ended his 2012 season.

“Johnson, again, is still struggling and was not quite ready with his foot,” Munchak said. “That’s a decision (we made) today. We were hoping he’d be further along than he is.”

Elsewhere on the health front, Munchak was able to deliver positive news regarding members of the offensive line — tackles Michael Roos (back) and David Steward (leg) and guard Andy Levitre (knee) — who missed time during the team’s nine-week offseason program and receivers Justin Hunter (hamstring), the team’s second-round pick, and Roberto Wallace (ankle).

“The rest of the roster, starting with the offensive line, the guys that were of concern that didn’t practice, that’s all good news. It’s what we hoped it would be,” Munchak said. “Roos is doing fine, feels good, he’ll be practicing Thursday. Stewart, same thing, he’ll move on now into team activities, which he did not do (in OTAs). He and Levitre will both now participate in practice that way. We’ll be smart, like we do with other players, with how we work him and how many reps he gets as we work our way through training camp, but the good news is they both feel good and they’re ready to start competing against the defensive line.”

Munchak said 2012 sixth-round pick Markelle Martin, who spent all of his rookie year on the PUP list will be ready to start individual drills when camp

“He’s at the point where he just needs to start doing football activity to get over the hump,” Munchak said. “He’ll start practicing in individual (periods) like the other guys are doing and then we’ll see how he responds. He should be active and available starting tomorrow.”   

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