Center Kevin Mawae was taken off the physically unable to perform list by the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday and practiced for the first time in training camp.
“I was at a point to where I had to go on the field to figure out where I was at in my rehab process and recovery process right now.” Mawae said of the decision made late Monday night to activate him.
The 16-year veteran center, coming off right elbow surgery, not only practiced with the first team but actually got in more work than he thought he might on his first day back.
“It was very nice. I had a little anxiety this morning. I haven’t been that anxious about getting on the football field in a long, long time, but I felt comfortable and felt good about it with what we did out there,” Mawae said. “I got more reps than I expected to get and even did one-on-ones and things like that and felt good about it.”
Mawae originally suffered the injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers last December and had surgery in January on the elbow.
Leroy Harris has been working as the starting center all through training camp and preseason thus far, and will continue to spell the veteran center some in practice. As for when Mawae will play in a preseason game, the Titans are uncertain if he will debut Saturday night in Cleveland.
“It really would be determined by what happens tonight, tomorrow and Thursday,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said of Mawae’s status against the Browns.
Mawae, who had the elbow iced and more rehab work after practice, said he’s not even thinking that far ahead.
“I’m anticipating coming to practice tomorrow. This whole process has been a day-to-day thing, a week-to-week thing and that’s the way it’s going to stay right now,” he said. “We’ll re-evaluate it at the end of the week and determine if I’m going to play or not.”
Mawae, 38, was sporting a huge black brace on his right elbow and will wear it for an indefinite period of time as he makes his way back into the lineup.
“It’s cumbersome. It’s precautionary. It’s there for support. It is cumbersome, but it’s the conservative move and it makes sense to wear it out there to protect yourself until we feel like I don’t need to have,” Mawae said.
The brace might even be an advantage – as there was one play in team drills where Kyle Vanden Bosch was on the ground after the play muttering about an “[expletive] elbow brace.”
“I don’t anybody’s going to like the elbow brace. They don’t like the cast, but if you’ve got to wear a brace, you’ve got to wear a brace,” Mawae said. “It’s not my problem. It’s an issue for the guys I’m playing again. It’s a brace, a protective brace. It’s no different than a guy wearing a knee brace or anything like that.
“It’s there for my safety and obviously we’ve got rules in place for how much needs to be padded up for a game and stuff like that. If I were to wear it in a game, we’ll follow the rules.”
Mawae’s linemates are happy to have him back in the lineup calling the signals.
“He’s a great player, and he’s fun to play next to. I’m excited to have him back out there and hoping he’s full go for week one, which I think is the plan right now,” right guard Jake Scott said.