Nine-year linebacker Will Witherspoon was absent from practice for the second consecutive day due to the death of his mother unexpectedly on Tuesday.
"Will is going through a really rough time." Coach Jeff Fisher said after practice. "He lost his mom on Tuesday at 11 a.m., and it was sudden and unexpected."
With the team already thin at linebacker, with David Thornton (PUP) and Gerald McRath (suspension) unavilable, plus Colin Allred nursing an ankle injury, Fisher said it would give the younger players a chance to get some reps in his absence.
Fisher said he is leaving it up to Witherspoon on when to return to the team, but did say that Witherspoon had expressed interest in playing on Sunday. The Titans are sending information regarding the game plan to Witherspoon and may limit him to some basic packages rather than the full complement he would normally have.
"He's a very experienced player. If this happened to a younger player, there would be no way he could come back and play this weekend," Fisher said.
Teammates were thinking about Witherspoon during his time of grief.
"Our hearts go out to him," fellow linebacker Stephen Tulloch said. "I got talk to him [by phone] when he got to the airport and I told him that I wished him the best. Football comes secondary to your family, and we will be here for him."