Thursday's Quick Hits: Jurrell Casey's Year-Long Motivation, Preparing for Houston's Starters, and the Titans Injury Report

191226-casey2

NASHVILLE -- The Titans returned to the practice field on Thursday at Saint Thomas Sports Park to continue preparations for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.

Here's a look at three quick hits from Thursday:

Casey's Comeback

Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey was miserable at the end of last season.

Casey suffered a knee injury in the team's December 22 win against the Redskins, and he wasn't able to play in the season finale vs. the Colts. The Titans lost that contest, and their season ended as a result.

"I probably cried the first couple of nights," Casey told Titans Online back in February. "I know it wasn't too bad of a crazy injury, but just to know that I wasn't able to help my team the following week, couldn't participate in one of the biggest games of my career with my teammates, it hurt. It hurt me bad."

A year later, Casey is set to play in another win-and-in scenario contest. If the Titans win on Sunday in Houston, they'll advance to the postseason. Casey has 56 tackles and four sacks on the season. He recorded the 50th sack of his career against the Saints.

The ending of the 2018 serves as more motivation for Casey heading in to Sunday.

"It was a terrible feeling," Casey said on Thursday. "Not only was I injured, but knowing I had no way to help the team, it was a struggle. It is something I had to deal with the entire offseason. But I have an opportunity now and I thank the Lord everything is good to go. To get an opportunity, and to have a chance to help my team try and get into the playoffs, it's all you can ask for."

Prepping for Starters

Houston coach Bill O'Brien said earlier this week his team is "playing to win" on Sunday and dismissed questions about whether the Texans might rest their starters or limit their playing time because they've already punched their playoff ticket.

Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees said his defense is prepping for Houston's top playmakers, from quarterback Deshaun Watson to receiver DeAndre Hopkins to running back Carlos Hyde.

"We just have to look at it like we're going to see the people that we saw before," said Pees, referring to the Week 15 contest between the two teams. "You start doing (something different) and you start going crazy and you start making two game plans and all kinds of stuff and then the players don't really know and they are not really focused on this guy or that guy or who we are trying to take care of or why we are trying to do it. It just becomes too much.

"So to me, we have enough in our arsenal, you would hope that no matter who we see we can change things on the day of the game if we have to change a couple of things. But we are going into this game (thinking): If Billy says he's playing them, then he's playing them. So we are going in there thinking we are going to play 'em."

Injury Report

Cornerback Adoree' Jackson (foot), receiver Adam Humphries (ankle), receiver Kalif Raymond (concussion) and linebacker Harold Landry (not injury related) did not practice on Thursday.

Running back Derrick Henry (hamstring), receiver Corey Davis (concussion), linebacker Daren Bates (shoulder), defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons (knee) and receiver Cody Hollister (ankle) all appear on the Injury Report, but they all practiced.

Henry, Davis, Bates, and Simmons were all listed as full participants while Hollister was limited.

The Tennessee Titans practice on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donald Page)

Related Content

Advertising