NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
McCarthy suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter of Tennessee’s season-opener against New England. He wore a walking boot for the remainder of that game and during the Titans’ trip to San Diego last week. The second-year middle linebacker stepped out of the boot Monday and has been doing rehab exercises that included time in a pool this week.
“I did it (Wednesday),” McCarthy said. “It felt good, came back (Thursday), really no setbacks, went back in there (Thursday) and continued to work, so I’m just trying to get back as soon as I can.”
Last week the Titans moved weakside linebacker
Munchak said the Titans (0-2) need to make some improvements against the run and middle-of-the field passing routes this week against the Lions (1-1). San Diego rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 39 carries, and backup tight end Dante Rosario caught three TD passes last week.
“Zach (Brown) getting to play more is going to be beneficial to us going into the season,” Munchak said. “Zac Diles playing more is going (to be) the same thing. He’s going to play a little more than he has, so that’s the part about the league: guys have to step up when it’s their turn. We lost our leader on defense right off the bat in the beginning of the season, which is tough, and so we’ve been trying to fix that.”
Detroit has rushed for 82.5 yards and passed for 280 yards per game. The Lions have an all-over-the-field receiving threat in Calvin Johnson and likes to use formations that use two tight ends.
Munchak said the Titans must do better against the run and cover for the absence of McCarthy.
“Every team gets guys nicked, gets important guys hurt and the ones that can step up and still win with your backups that maybe eventually become starter-type guys,” Munchak said, “so on that side of the ball, we need to put a stop to the run game and make sure and make Detroit have to throw the ball and get pressure and make a play or two.”
“They can stretch the field and they’ve also got a pretty solid running game, so we’re going to have our hands full, but there’s no doubt in my mind that as a defense we can start fast and everyone focus on their assignments,” Ayers said. “If we play as a defense and communicate, we can come out pretty solid.”
MARTIN EXCITED TO FACE TEAM HE LOVED: Titans rookie defensive tackle
Martin, 22, turned 8 during Sanders’ last season (1998) with the Lions.
“I’ve got two of his jerseys and some posters that I hung in my room and all that,” Martin said. “Being from Detroit, I’ve always been a Detroit fan. Any Detroit sport, I’m a die-hard. It’s funny I have a lot of Lions stuff like clothing that I own just from college and growing up, but no, I’ve got to have my Titans stuff on now. It will be fun playing against them, I’m sure.”
Martin played significant minutes against New England and recorded his first start and first career sack in San Diego. He said a group of about 25 friends and family is coming to Sunday’s game.
The Titans picked Martin in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and he said he’s been able to learn a lot during the offseason and preseason but wants to keep improving.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time, trying to learn as much as I can and get better every single day, practicing my craft and my skill,” Martin said. “Preseason really got a lot of the surprises out for me, getting adjusted to the speed of the game and technique and having to play a certain way. I was able to get a lot of snaps in, and come first game, I felt pretty comfortable, but you’re always going to run into new things and new wrinkles, so I’m just going to have to adjust as we go.”
INJURY UPDATES: Brown (knee) and Martin (foot) are officially listed as probable for Sunday’s game, as is