The Titans have been practicing without wide receiver Justin Hunter for the last few days because of a hamstring injury suffered late in May.
Since it is June, coach Mike Munchak and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains are each taking the position that the second-round pick should focus on mental reps and the playbook while making sure he’s 100 percent physically before getting back on the field. Hunter’s position coach has a pretty different take on things, however. Shawn Jefferson thinks it’s just a matter of Hunter being a little tougher.
“Justin needs to get his [butt] going,” Jefferson said, via Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “Sometimes we have to fight through things. That’s how I was taught with Bill Parcells. If it ain’t broke, then I’m not hurt. This is a very crucial time. This is where we see the growth in the kid, where he gets used to going through some adversity. I know injuries are a part of the game, but the OTAs is where you really see the jump and he corrects mistakes. It’s definitely a setback. I just want him to get out here so we can continue the growth process.”
Hunter may not be broke, but there are few better ways to get broken than to get back on the field before you’re physically ready after a relatively minor injury suffered more than three months ahead of the first game of the season. It would obviously be better for Hunter and the Titans if he were on the field right now, but it’s far more important that he be on the field for training camp and the regular season. Even Parcells might be willing to concede that growth in OTAs doesn’t matter at all if the player can’t be on the field in September and October.