The Tennessee Titans need Colin McCarthy this weekend.
McCarthy, the team's defensive captain, starting middle linebacker and top playmaker on defnese, has missed two consecutive games with with an injured ankle. He was able to return and do individual work on Wednesday, but that is no guarantee that he will be able to play this week against the high-powered Houston Texans.
“He is (getting closer),” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “We were hoping he was able to do more today. He was out doing individual drills. He’s obviously running now. Now it’s just a matter of how quickly his ankle responds to being on the hard surface, being on the ground and cutting and those kinds of things.”
The Titans will attempt to increase McCarthy's workload on Thursday and attempt get him on the practice field Friday. The Tennessee defense has given up increasingly more points in each of the team's first three games, and the Texans offense could be the most dangerous one the Titans have faced yet.
“We’ll see how he is tomorrow after what he did today and then see how much more he can do tomorrow. It’s still a work in progress,” he said. “That’s what we’ll find out. I think we were hoping by Friday he could maybe do something. We’ll have to wait and see how he was after today’s work.”
McCarthy isn't the only Titan trying to make his way back from injuries.
Two of the Titans' top offensive players are also nursing injuries suffered in Sunday's overtime win over the Detroit Lions. Kenny Britt did not play in the overtime because of an ankle injury, and Jared Cook left in the first half with a shoulder injury and did not return.
Neither player practiced on Wednesday, but both should practice later in the week and play on Sunday.
“They were out in the side field doing individual drills with the trainers,” Munchak said. “Cook I think is feeling better. A lot of his motion is pretty much back, so we thought he’d do some drills tomorrow and maybe by Friday, start taking reps.
“Kenny is again, the same thing, progressing along pretty well. He’s (got) an ankle (injury), so obviously that’s a little more because of the running and playing receiver. We’ll have to see how he does the next couple of days.”
Guard Leroy Harris took Wednesday off for the third straight week to rest his stiff knee.