Kenny Britt’s health no longer is in question.
His availability for the Sept. 9 regular season opener against the New England Patriots, though, remains in doubt.
The Tennessee Titans and their 2009 first-round draft pick still have not received word whether National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell will issue a suspension in relation to Britt’s recent arrest and drunken driving charge.
The Titans removed Britt from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list Tuesday, which cleared the way for him to practice with the team. He will not play in Thursday’s preseason finale, according to an official statement from the organization.
The wide receiver watched the day’s early afternoon workout but did so in his practice jersey, which was an indicator that things had changed. Since the start of training camp his work has been limited to rehabilitation in the wake of minor knee surgery.
The decision to remove Britt from the PUP list eliminates the possibility that he would start the season on the reserve/PUP list, which requires a player to sit out at least the first six weeks of the regular season. That means as soon as he is healthy enough and up to speed on the scheme he can play, unless the commissioner rules otherwise.
There has been no indication that the change in his status will have any effect on the timing of a decision by Goodell.
“We’ll just kind of wait until we hear,” coach Mike Munchak said. “We know obviously time is running out on that, so we know we’ll hear something real soon. I don’t know what it means. I hope it’s a positive thing for us, but we’ll find out soon I guess.”
Britt was the Titans’ leader in receiving yards in each of his first two seasons (2009 and 2010). He was among the NFL’s most productive players through the first two weeks of 2011 but sustained a season-ending injury early in Week 3 against Denver.
In 31 career games (15 starts) he has averaged 17.5 yards on 101 receptions and has scored 15 touchdowns.
With Marc Mariani out for the season because of a broken leg sustained last Thursday against Arizona, Britt’s return gives the Titans five veteran receivers on the active roster. If he is suspended for one game or more to start the regular season it is likely the team will add another veteran through waivers or free agency.
“It’s aggravating I guess that you don’t know all the pieces, and it changes so much with injuries one week to the next also,” coach Mike Munchak said. “I think this will all come together here real soon.
“The final roster comes together on Friday and Saturday. That will be a busy weekend just kind of piecing it all back together. By then we’ll have a lot of answers to the questions we’ve been wondering about.”
They already got one of the answers.