NASHVILLE — Health, in any way shape or form, should not be taken for granted. Seeing wide receiver Robert Woods and corner Caleb Farley not on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list ahead of this week’s Tennessee Titans training camp resonates in a substantive way.
It’s the closet thing to a win that Tennessee could have in late July.
Woods, 30, tore his ACL last November and missed the remainder of the season while with the Los Angeles Rams. The veteran joined the Titans this Spring via trade and looked to be a significant solution to a top-end depth issue. Entering his second season, Farley also suffered an ACL tear that ended his year.
Woods’ health is essential
Tennessee has far too many wide out insecurities for anyone’s liking.
With first-round pick Treylon Burks’ disappointing offseason, to see Woods involved in OTAs and mini-camp two months ago surprised many. Woods himself felt like he was making progress far faster.
“I actually feel like they’re kind of holding me back a little bit,” Woods said at the Titans Foundation Dinner in May. “I am trying to get back as well as I can. Doing everything (head trainer) Todd Toriscelli has me doing, trying to stay focused and be patient with it. Right now, I feel really, really good, getting going, being able to do some things.”
Including Woods, the Titans have 12 players at that position heading into training camp. None have the resumé of the former Ram. For Burks’ part, it does seem like things are at least trending in the right direction.
Titans need Farley to develop as a starter
For Farley, however, health in some form or fashion was a struggle even before he went down in October.
The then-rookie only appeared in three games with one start. 60 defensive snaps from a first-round pick is a disappointment no matter how unfair it seems to the player. An all-clear for Farley as Tennessee prepares to report for camp allows the organization to fight off the scrutiny still hovering over the selection for the time being.
It is critical that Farley emerge this season as a starter in the Titans secondary.
“(Farley) had a good first week, I’ll tell you that,” coach Mike Vrabel said at the official start to the offseason. “He is light years ahead of where he ended, not just rehab but from a mental perspective, being in those meetings and having them answer questions.”
Class work likely does not excite many people as a baseline, but it should. As big a question as Farley is physically, his understanding of the nuances of playing corner at the NFL level was just as much in question. The Virginia Tech product seemed comfortable with what his coaches asked of him through April and May and fluid in his movements.
Coming out of college with only one full season playing the position on his resumé has made Farley’s professional learning curve inherently more steep.
Featured Image: USA TODAY Sports.