EAGAN, Minn. — The Tennessee Titans have avoided a major injury with wide receiver Treylon Burks' left knee.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Thursday after the second day of joint practice with the Minnesota Vikings that Burks suffered no structural damage.
“I don't think it's going to be a long-term thing,” Vrabel said. “I'm not putting a timetable on it, but I think it was a best-case scenario.”
The energy on the fields was palpable, as each squad raucously celebrated successful plays from their sidelines during full-team drills and a couple of pushing-the-envelope moments developed.
Titans nose tackle Teair Tart was dismissed from practice after a tussle with Garrett Bradbury led to him swinging at the Vikings center. Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth chucked the ball at the Titans sideline after an interception in the end zone. Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons was jawing often with the Vikings.
“We want them to be as aggressive and as physical and as violent, within the rules, as you can,” Vrabel said, “and then you’ve got to line back up and play again. You can’t taunt. You can’t point at somebody. You can’t stand over an opponent. You certainly can’t throw a punch.”
The Vikings came out of the second day with a couple of potential concerns — involving two of their top three cornerbacks. Akayleb Evans looked a little wobbly after colliding with teammate Josh Metellus on a throw into the end zone, and Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell personally escorted Evans — who was in the concussion protocol three times last season as a rookie — off the field. Mekhi Blackmon was hurt during a one-on-one drill and didn't return.
The Titans were relieved about the prognosis for Burks. NFL Network, citing unidentified sources, reported that Burks sprained his lateral collateral ligament and will be sidelined for at least two weeks. The LCL stretches along the outside of the knee from the femur to the fibula. Burks was hurt Wednesday after catching a deep pass in a one-on-one drill, when he fell to the grass after stumbling forward and needed assistance off the field after limping to his feet and clutching his knee.
“We'll rehab him, and I know he'll work hard to get back,” Vrabel said. “When he's ready to come back out he'll help us.”
Rookie quarterback Will Levis left practice early with an undisclosed injury. Vrabel declined to speculate about whether he'd be able to play in the exhibition game on Saturday night.
The Titans have higher expectations for their air attack this year after producing the third-fewest passing yards in the NFL last season, with the addition of three-time All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and the emergence of Burks, their 2022 first-round draft pick.
They gained some valuable repetitions against the aggressive, versatile and unorthodox system that new Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores has installed.
His scheme has injected a noticeable flair into training camp, whether it's sending blitzers from any angle at any time, stacking a four-man front with three edge rushers or playing three safeties at a time to take advantage of strong depth at that position. Flores has even empowered safety Harrison Smith and linebacker Jordan Hicks to make the calls in certain situations, and he's constantly searching for ways to fill the blank pages at the end of the playbook.
“If there’s an idea that comes from a player or a coach I’m very open to installing something brand new,” Flores said. “Maybe that’s something we run all year. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s for a specific game. Maybe it’s for one specific situation. But our playbook’s forever evolving.”