The Tennessee Titans have been battered by injuries this season and although they won't be getting Derrick Henry back anytime soon, star receiver A.J. Brown will return to the lineup for Thursday night's showdown with the San Francisco 49ers.
Brown was designated to return off of injured reserve on Monday and after a smooth week at practice, the receiver was officially activated to the official roster just in time for Thursday's game. The Titans had 21 days to move Brown to the active roster, but they ended up doing so after just three.
Brown has not played since sustaining a chest injury during the team's Week 11 loss to the Texans. With Brown on injured reserve, the Titans have gone 1-2, including this past Sunday's 19-13 loss to the Steelers. The loss dropped the Titans to 9-5 and just one game ahead of the Colts in the AFC South division race.
Brown's return is even more significant after Julio Jones left Sunday's loss with a hamstring injury. Titans coach Mike Vrabel said on Monday that the team will evaluate Jones' status leading up to Thursday night's game. As things currently stand, Jones (hamstring) is expected to play, according to NFL.com, which means Tennessee could have its top two receivers on the field for the first time since Week 9. The Titans are 5-1 this season when both Jones AND Brown play.
The Titans also recently activated outside linebacker Bud Dupree after he missed three games with an abdominal injury. Dupree recorded a sack in Sunday's loss to the Steelers.
Of course, the biggest injury for the Titans this season happened with Henry, who has been out since the team's Week 8 win over the Colts. Tennessee is 3-3 since losing Henry to a season-ending foot injury. Despite their recent dip, the Titans are currently first in the AFC South and third in the AFC playoff standings with three games left in the regular season.