Titans WR Rishard Matthews hasn’t been able to practice at training camp and is officially on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
One of the bigger storylines in training camp has been the wide receivers. Depending on who you ask, the wide receivers have either struggled immensely or shown flashes of brilliance. The wide receiver position was one of the bigger question marks on the team coming out of the offseason, and that doesn’t seem to have changed over the first week of camp.
As training camp began, a notable wide receiver was absent from practice. The team’s leading wideout over the last two seasons, Rishard Matthews, missed several practices in a row with an “undisclosed injury”. What was curious about Matthews’ absence, aside from his injury not being described in detail, was the fact that he wasn’t on the PUP list.
On July 29, NFL Network’s Omar Ruiz tweeted about Matthews, and mentioned that he was “still” on the PUP list, even though there had been no official announcement by the Titans.
The next morning, Titans Online writer Jim Wyatt confirmed that Matthews was on PUP, and head coach Mike Vrabel stated that the receiver was placed on the list because he “wasn’t ready to practice”.
When I checked the Titans’ roster page before we recorded our latest Titan Sized Podcast episode on Monday afternoon, I found that Matthews had already been listed under Physically Unable to Perform, along with Jack Conklin and Phillip Supernaw. And when I checked for the date underneath, it said that the roster was updated “As of July 26, 2018”.
Paul Kuharsky tweeted a clarification about the situation, stating that Matthews’ report-to-camp date was different than Conklin and Supernaw. Their status was disclosed when they arrived, but for some reason Matthews’ was not, be it because of an error or something else.
There will probably be a lot of conspiracy theories as to why the Titans didn’t formally announce Matthews being placed on PUP, but the most important fact is that he is yet to practice a week into training camp. With the young receivers proving enigmatic, the Titans need Matthews to get healed of his mysterious injury and start incorporating himself into the offense. If it doesn’t happen soon, the Titans will likely have to explore a trade or dip into the barren free agent receiver market.