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That sigh of relief you heard coming from Tennessee was quarterback Ryan Tannehill exhaling at the news that his blindside will soon be safer. Starting left tackle Taylor Lewan, recovering from a torn ACL, fully intends to be back in the starting lineup for the Titans’ week one opener versus Arizona.
With rehab now behind him, Lewan’s feeling like his normal self again.
#Titans LT Taylor Lewan said he has a newfound appreciation for football after tearing his ACL. Had never previously had an injury that required surgery. He’s feeling good now.
“I definitely feel like I’m back to my normal self.” pic.twitter.com/hI9agVdWuO
— Ben Arthur (@benyarthur) August 4, 2021
“Going through that (rehab) process, going through points where you’re like, ‘Am I ever going to be the same person again?’” Lewan said via Ben Arthur of the Tennessean. “You’re re-learning how to walk. … Like, ‘Am I going to be strong enough to play this game again?’ It’s kind of like, there’s a lot of ebbs and flows not only physically, but emotionally as well. I had to go through a lot of that. I’m just really appreciative to be where I’m at right now.”
Lewan continued, “I definitely feel like I’m back to my normal self, if not a little bit better.”
Though he’s yet to participate in team portions of training camp, head coach Mike Vrabel is encouraged by Lewan’s progress: “The more we ask him to do – individuals, one-on-ones, working conditioning – he’s done all that. Hopefully, we can progress here to the next step and see where this goes,” Vrabel told reporters.
Once he’s given the green light, the three-time Pro Bowler will be ready to resume his role as a mainstay on the Tennessee offensive line: “They’re integrating me slowly, and it’s definitely great to know they care and put me in the right position and not compromise anything going into the season,” said Lewan.“Barring anything, there’s going to be no issues. Week one is not going to be a problem. I feel great.”
And you can bet Tannehill does too.
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…And Lewan has already been preemptively flagged for a personal foul and holding in anticipation of his return.