NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans wide receiver Robert Woods and cornerback Caleb Farley worked together on their individual drills during a special teams period at training camp on Monday.
In full pad. There are no knee braces protecting the repaired left ACL.
It’s a very welcome sight for the Tennessee Titans, both expected to begin this season and both making impressive recoveries from torn ACLs, which ended the 2021 season for each.
Woods tore his left ACL during practice with the Rams on November 12. Farley tore his left ACL on October 18, ending a rookie season of first-round draft selection.
This put them on a similar timeline for their recovery. So they started working together shortly after the Titans were traded to Woods.
The veteran and cornerback practiced with the team during an off-season program and was on the field to start training camp last week – without knee braces – and practiced on Monday in the team’s first season in the pads.
And according to Titans coach Mike Wrabel, he has a “full workload” aside from some exercises.
“I didn’t give much thought to it,” said Varabelle. “I just wanted to make sure that what they’re doing is helping them and that they’re making progress and that they respond well to the work they’re doing.”
Farley is benefiting from not only being a rehab partner, but almost a master class lifting the mind of a receiver heading into his 10th NFL season.
“It helps me think better, play better, be more comfortable,” Farley said. “It boosts my confidence. All those different dynamics, it helps me play better.”
Both Woods and Farley share a track background, so part of their routine became once a week running a hill next to a parking lot. They also pushed each other as they worked to strengthen each knee.
“He’s a resource for me too,” Woods said of Farley. “I know he’s a young player, but he’s young, talented, strong, fast, quick.”
Woods says he began training without a brace after the Titans’ off-season program ended, focusing on track work to help him regain his burst. His work was tested last weekend when receiver Farley went for a pass from Ryan Tanhill with defense, and Woods came down with the ball on that left foot.
ACL recovery is not easy and varies from player to player.
Titans dropped tackle Taylor Levan admitted to reporters in June that he struggled throughout the 2021 season after tearing his ACL in October 2020. Linebacker Bud Dupree tore them down in December 2020, saying that in June they made themselves felt for just one game: the Titans’ divisional playoff loss in January.
“People talk about it, and we know the timetable,” Dupree said. “We know exactly how long it takes. Doctors can say one thing. Your body has to tell you something else.”
Woods is aiming to prepare for the season opener as the Titans host the New York Giants on September 11.
“My biggest objective is to get ready for the first week,” Woods said. “Everything we’re doing, I’m honing in on every practice, trying to get some reps with Ryan. … If the coach tells me to go there I’m ready to go would go.
The Titans are also counting on Woods to be one of their new starting wide receivers. Tanhill is working with Woods as an off-season program thanks to building up chemistry and time for Woods’ quick healing.
“He’s so sleek,” Tannehill said of Woods. “It’s one thing I noticed immediately that he’s very comfortable with his routes. He’s able to transition really well. And, you know, it looks like he’s going 100%, But he is not. He is able to transition very well. So for the quarterback, it makes the ball easier to throw.”
Farley is expected to start this season alongside Christiane Fulton, who will replace veteran Janoris Jenkins, who was a salary cap casualty in March. Woods noted that Farley took out two passes when the Titans had only rookies, quarterbacks and injured players to start camp a few days before the Giants reported.
“I’m expecting big things from Caleb,” Woods said.
Comments: TE Tommy Hudson passed his physical exam and became active from the physically disabled display list on Monday. This leaves Rookie’s Caleb Shudak and LB Monty Rice on the PUP list. … Rookie CB Roger McCreery broke four passes on Monday.
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