For the first time since injuring his hamstring on day one of Training Camp, Tennessee Titans receiver A.J. Brown participated in team drills during practice on Wednesday. In was a padded practice for the Titans, meaning that Brown has progressed in his rehab to the point of being able to take on some contact.

“We’re headed in the right direction. Just trying to get comfortable so I can do what I do…I’m feeling pretty good, just trying to take it one step at a time. My reps are limited now, but I’m taking them slow.”

Brown admitted that sitting out for the past couple of weeks has been tough on him.

“Every day, it’s been a struggle when I was in there,” Brown said of his time away from the action. “Of course, I wanted to come out and watch practice and watch the film, kind of upset that I’m not on the film. But it’s just a blessing to be out here.”

Brown’s return to team drills came just two days before the Titans will participate in two joint practices with the New England Patriots. The rookie receiver is still unsure of what his status will be for them.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do when they get here. As I said, I’m limited, so we’ll just see how it goes and take it day by day.

Multiple times on Monday during team drills, Brown drew a matchup against cornerback Malcolm Butler, who looked to win all of their matchups. After practice, Butler and Brown got together to work on releases at the line of scrimmage.

“It’s always a good matchup to go against [Butler],” Brown said. “He’s been in the league a while, and he’s going to give me different looks. He’s a vet, and I try to take every rep and just try to dominate. He’s a great guy to go against.”

Head coach Mike Vrabel detailed after Monday’s practice the mindset that players, like Brown, who are coming back from lengthy absences need to have.

“I think you have to stay engaged with what you’re doing offensively and defensively, keep a positive attitude,” Vrabel said. “There are ups and downs, there are good days, there are bad days. Hopefully, nobody’s pressing, they’re just taking advantage of the opportunities they get, and that they’re available.”

Vrabel also indicated during his press conference that Brown’s injury was a pulled hamstring.

Brown was non-committal on whether he will play in any preseason games, maintaining that that decision is in Vrabel’s hands.

We have also yet to see Brown make his first catch during team drills. If that feat were to come on Wednesday or Thursday against the defending Super Bowl champions, it would serve as a good indicator of Brown’s status.

Cover image: Donn Jones/Tennessee Titans

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