One of the biggest surprises of the entire offseason was the return of offensive lineman Dillon Radunz before the start of the season.
Radunz suffered a torn ACL in December and the expectation was he’d start the season on the PUP list and miss the first four games of the campaign.
However, Radunz was unexpectedly activated off the PUP list on Monday, just eight months after suffering the injury, which is a pretty quick return.
The North Dakota State product was included in the team’s initial 53-man roster, where he’ll likely serve as a backup to start the season, giving Tennessee depth at both guard and tackle.
“I am going to play wherever they need me, and wherever I can play,” he said on Monday, per Jim Wyatt of TennesseeTitans.com. “We’ll see what happens. I am just kind of trusting the process right now. There’s a lot of unknowns left, but you have to give it your all.”
It isn’t out of the question Radunz could work his way up the depth chart at some point, as the starter at right tackle, Chris Hubbard, is anything but fully secure in that spot, something head coach Mike Vrabel made clear.
Mike Vrabel said right now Chris Hubbard is the starter at RT. Vrabel mentioned that it's not set in stone and named Justin Murray, Jaelyn Duncan (he said he'll be back today) and possibly Dillon Radunz in the future as options.
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) August 28, 2023
For now, Radunz is slowly working his way back in, as he’s only taking part in individual drills at the moment. That said, Vrabel called the former second-round pick’s return “very encouraging.”
“Very encouraging,” Vrabel said, according to Tyler Rowland of All Titans. “Dillon (Radunz) worked extremely hard to get back out here and through conversations with his surgeon, our doctors, Dillon most importantly.
“Just excited to get him back out there. We’re probably a little bit away from team, but I think it is also important that the player gets to a point that you’re done rehabbing and he gets back out there with his teammates in individual and figure out group things. We’ll see where he is.”