NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans rookie safety Dane Cruikshank returned to the practice field on Monday for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in the preseason opener.
Cruikshank was injured while covering a punt on August 9 at Green Bay. He didn't play on Saturday against the Buccaneers.
"There's a return to play protocol that we try to follow, as guys are working their way back in," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. "So it was good to see Dane be able to do some things and start to work his way back in and we'll take a look at where he's at after doing what he did today."
Cruikshank, a fifth round pick, said he's been working hard to return.
He also complimented veteran safety Johnathan Cyprien. Cruikshank said Cyprien has been texting him words of encouragement even after he had knee surgery after being placed on Injured Reserve.
"I have been in rehab 24-7," Cruikshank said. "I have been putting in the work just to get back out there on the field to help by brothers out there.
"The way I got hurt, it happens. This is the game of football, and it is a physical sport – you are going to get hurt eventually in your career. But I am out there playing hard, and that is all my team can ask from me, to go out there and put in a full effort."
Division of carries?
Vrabel was asked about the division of carries for Titans running backs Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis this fall.
So far in the preseason, Henry has six carries for 18 yards, while Lewis has three carries for nine yards, in addition to his two catches for 26 yards. Henry also has one catch for seven yards.
"I think it is important to try and find the right balance for each player," Vrabel said. "But keeping in mind what is best for the team, and what may be working. And maybe have a certain play in there that week for Dion, or a few certain plays for Derrick.
"I think it is going to change week to week, like a lot of stuff that we do. And we'll try and do everything that gives us a chance to win. So to try and balance those snaps each week I don't think it going to be real possible. One may end up with a few more snaps each week than the other."
Tight end Delanie Walker, linebacker Brian Orakpo, linebacker Rashaan Evans, cornerback Adoree' Jackson, cornerback Malcolm Butler, receiver Michael Campanaro, receiver Deontay Burnett, safety Steven Terrell, safety Kendrick Lewis and offensive linemen Josh Kline and Corey Levin did not practice on Monday.
Orakpo and Evans were spotted on a side field doing rehab work, along with right tackle Jack Conklin, who remains on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list.
In addition to Cruikshank, linebacker Wesley Woodyard was back on the practice field after missing Saturday's game, and defensive lineman David King was spotted during the open practice period as well.
The Tennessee Titans take the field for practice on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)