Quarterback Vince Young and running back Chris Johnson did not accompany the team on their return flight back to Nashville on Sunday but instead stayed behind in South Florida after a 29-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
While it is not unusual for players to obtain permission to stay behind after game, especially if they have ties to the area, the timing is somewhat unusual given the on-going saga regarding Young not starting on Sunday due to a left ankle injury.
On Sunday night, Johnson tweeted that he was “Chillin in miami with the homie brandon marshall”. Marshall, being the Dolphins' star wide receiver.
As for the players staying behind, Coach Jeff Fisher said, “It happens all the time.”
Fisher granted permission for Randy Moss to stay since he has a home in the area. Johnson, who is from Orlando, and Young also stayed in Florida.
“Kenny (Britt) did it when we played in New York, and (Craig) Stevens stayed behind in San Diego,” Fisher said. “As long as they are back in time for meetings the next week, it’s not uncommon for this to happen, and it’s a non-story.”
Except that Young was deemed not well enough to start the game Sunday, and Kerry Collins getting the nod.
Young had already come under a certain amount of scrutiny after a report emerged from Fox Sports' Jay Glazer that he skipped treatment on his injured ankle over the bye weekend.
Young bristled when a reporter asked him about the report after the Dolphins game saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t know what you’re talking about; Whoever you got that information from, you have to talk to them, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Fisher pointed out on Monday that over that bye weekend, Young was given permission to leave during the off week and was placed in a walking boot because the ankle needed rest, not more treatment, according to the coach. Young went to Austin, Texas for the opening of his new steakhouse.
“I excused him from it,” Fisher said. “If we felt that the rehab was going to help him, or if staying behind over the weekend, then we would have asked him to stay. It wasn’t an issue, it was rest, we placed him in a boot.”
There was also the report that Young did not make a pre-game appearance on the field to stretch and discuss his health with the Titans medical personnel, but instead made his first appearance as the entire team took the field for pre-game warmups.
Still, Young did not make the start on Sunday against the Dolphins, because of what Fisher termed issues with his mobility and the risk of making the injury worse.
All this too with a new receiver in town in Moss with the two having had no previous experience together.
The Titans instead started Collins, but he suffered an injured left calf at the end of the first half, and gave way to Young in the second half. Young's ankle and mobility did not appear to be an issue at all as he played the entire second half, and was able to roll out and even scramble on two occasions.
Fisher said on Monday that the injury appeared to be behind Young now. TitanInsider asked on Monday if Young had reported for treatment for the ankle after the game, as players coming off injuries generally do after games. Fisher was very generic about the subject.
“We had a lot of players get treatment today—coaches got treatment today,” he said.
But Young, who was not well enough to make his start coming off the bye week, did not.