Chris Davis was grateful for a second chance with the Tennessee Titans, who re-signed him Tuesday with the possibilities of him having a hand in the return game.
The Titans will decide between Davis and Alvin Pearman, signed last week but inactive last Sunday, as to who will handle their punt and kickoff return chores.
“I definitely think I left on bad terms. Everybody was still cool with me, but I did feel like I had some unfinished business,” Davis said.
Davis was solidly in the mix for the Titans return job and playing time at wide receiver during OTAs and the early part of training camp. However, a hamstring injury in preseason, combined with a DUI arrest in August, led to his release.
He was brought in for a workout Tuesday, and signed back to the team, with this being the first week he could be brought back after having taken an injury settlement upon his release.
“We released Chris clearly because of the injury. He wasn’t going to be healthy enough for us to do anything because he missed a couple of games,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “We felt like this would mount to whatever the injury was. This week was the first opportunity, we’ve stayed in touch with him. He’s healthy and he’ll give us an option as far as returning is concerned.”
Davis said the hamstring injury was severe enough that he continued his rehab work into the regular season.
“I had a bad injury as far as my hamstring, and they needed some spots open. I was just going to be out for too long. I think that was really it,” he said. “It went into the season. I knew they couldn’t afford to keep open a spot.”
Asked if he could pick right up where he left off, Davis said, “I think I can. It’s not going to be as easy. I feel like I’ve got some work to do, but it won’t be too hard.”
Davis said he knew another chance would come somewhere in the NFL.
“I felt like I was going to play football again. I just didn’t know what locker room I’d be in. It feels good to be back in this one,” he said.
Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck said he and his fellow linebackers have been learning first hand of the intensity 49ers coach Mike Singletary showed as a player from linebackers coach Dave McGinnis, who coached the Hall of Famer as a player with the Chicago Bears.
“If you followed football then, I don’t think you could not know who he was. He, and Richard Dent and Otis [Wilson] kind of set the standard for defense back in the ’80s,” Bulluck said referring to the Bears.
He said McGinnis has imparted some wisdom about Singletary in the meeting rooms this week.
“He spent some years around him. He kind of knows his temperament, definitely as a player,” Bulluck said. “And [he] has given us in our room a little insight on how he is and how he would be as a coach. You can tell he has a strict regimen. That also probably shows up in his game.”
Bulluck was asked how he would react to the infamous incident in San Francisco where Singletary dropped his pants at halftime to make a point to his 49ers team last year.
“I would start laughing. I know me. I would mess up the whole plan, because I’d probably start laughing. Hey, man, different strokes for different folks,” Bulluck said
Singletary was teammates with Titans coach Jeff Fisher on those teams, and said the two have spoken over the years, but not really kept in close touch.
“We say hello when we see each other. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jeff. Each time we see each other we talk. But no, we haven’t really kept in touch,” Singletary said.
Fisher, who was part of the same 1981 draft class as Singletary, said he is happy his old teammate got the chance to get back into football after being out for several years, and to be a head coach.
“Mike obviously didn’t get right into coaching. He retired and spent time with his family,” Fisher said. “He did a lot of speaking. It didn’t surprise me that he would get into it. I got a sense that he missed the game. I’m just real happy he got the opportunity.”
Nick Harper continues to get closer to returning from a broken forearm suffered Oct. 11 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Harper continues to practice in limited fashion, but has yet to be cleared for contact.
“You see me out there. I shouldn’t be, but I can’t help it,” Harper said. “I just started doing some exercises to get some strength back in my grip. If you can’t go out there and grab anybody, there’s no sense in being out there. You hands are your weapons out there. I’ve got to get my strength up first before I even think about going out there.”
Defensive end Jevon Kearse was limited because of a knee problem, while tackle Mike Otto (knee), running back Javon Ringer (back) and linebacker David Thornton (hip) were all out.
Of that trio, Thornton is likely to practice on Thursday, while Ringer and Otto could be out all week of practice.
The Titans released punter A.J. Trapasso from their practice squad. Trapasso had been in camp with the team this summer and was re-signed to the practice squad after Craig Hentrich went down with a calf injury.
The move creates a practice squad spot potentially for cornerback Cary Williams, if he clears waivers. Williams was let go to make room for receiver Chris Davis on Tuesday.