September 4, 2018 / 1:14 AM / 18 days ago

Titans' Walker, Orakpo ready for opener

Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker and outside linebacker Brian Orakpo said Monday they will be ready for Sunday’s season opener against the Dolphins in Miami, while right tackle Jack Conklin is getting closer to a return.

Aug 20, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker (82) reacts after catching a pass against the Carolina Panthers during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

Walker, who has been battling an apparent toe injury, and Orakpo (shoulder) each returned to practice last week after missing all of the preseason. The Titans have been extremely tight-lipped about injuries under new head coach Mike Vrabel, but Walker has consistently targeted a Week 1 return, while Orakpo said Monday he’s “ready to rock and roll.”

Conklin, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the divisional playoffs in mid-January, was activated from the physically unable to perform list before final cuts and did limited work in individual drills at Monday’s practice. General manager Jon Robinson said Conklin is “progressing nicely,” but no timetable has been given for the tackle’s return.

Nov 15, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) is sacked by Tennessee Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo (98) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. The Panthers won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

Conklin’s activation indicates the team expects him back before Week 7, but he could miss a few weeks while working back to 100 percent. Veteran Dennis Kelly has worked as the starter at right tackle in Conklin’s absence.

Orakpo, 32, could be counted on heavily early on, as fellow starter Derrick Morgan and second-round pick Harold Landry are each battling injuries of their own.

Morgan returned to practice Monday for limited work, but his availability for Week 1 is in doubt as he recovers from a reported August knee procedure. Landry did not practice Monday after reportedly sustaining a mid- to high-ankle sprain in the preseason finale.

Inside linebacker Rashaan Evans, a first-round pick, also was limited in practice on Monday as he works back from an undisclosed injury. After sitting out since late July, Evans experienced an apparent setback in his brief return to practice two weeks ago, taking three reps in individual drills before leaving. Once healthy, he is expected to start alongside Wesley Woodyard in coordinator Dean Pees’ 3-4 defense.

—Field Level Media

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