Kevin Dodd appears to be fully over a foot injury that has plagued him.
Post-practice press conferences can give some really good insight into the Tennessee Titans, especially in terms of players dealing with injuries. Hearing about how Marcus Mariota is over his leg injury and how Corey Davis is week-to-week with a hamstring injury is a roller coaster, but it’s at least information that provides transparency.
On Tuesday afternoon, after a practice that was closed to the public, head coach Mike Mularkey dropped a bomb of good news for Titans fans that had begun wondering about the future of Kevin Dodd, the Titans’ second round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Earlier this offseason, whenever Dodd’s name came up, it was about the uncertainty with his foot injury. Dodd had surgery on his foot during the 2016 offseason, and the rehab process for that injury was never fully completed during his rookie season. The Clemson product was limited to brief cameos during nine games in 2016, and was effectively shut down for the final seven games.
Dodd had to undergo another foot surgery this offseason, and it was fair to wonder whether Dodd would make any impact for a second consecutive season. Going into training camp, the news on Dodd was relatively non-existent. No one was really talking about him, but he quietly worked himself back into shape and appears to now be fully over the injury.
Dodd being healthy can’t be overstated. No one is expecting him to be Von Miller off the edge, but adding another pass rusher to the fold gives the Titans more depth and more options off the bench. Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan logged uncomfortably high snap counts last season, and it was a main reason for why the pass rush suffered a bit as the season worn on.
With Dodd returning as a backup, Erik Walden signed and Aaron Wallace and Josh Carraway competing for a spot at outside linebacker, the Titans suddenly can feel good about their depth at the position. If Dodd can develop into the type of standout pass rusher he showed he can be at Clemson, the Titans will be able to use him consistently and not suffer too much of a dropoff when Morgan and Orakpo are resting.
Finally some good news on the injury front for the Titans. Now let’s hope Davis, DeMarco Murray and Tajae Sharpe can be 100 percent by the regular season opener.