Tannehill’s Absence an Opportunity for Woodside

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill was absent from practice Monday.

No reason to worry, though.

Head coach Mike Vrabel said the NFL’s 2019 Comeback Player of the Year was accounted for and that the team expects him to return to Saint Thomas Sports Park on Tuesday.

Logan Woodside, the Titans’ presumed No. 2 option, was the primary beneficiary of Tannehill’s absence. Because Woodside, who has never played in a regular season contest, worked with the first-team offense Monday.

“It was a great experience,” offensive coordinator Arthur Smith said during a video press conference Monday. “There are always two ways to look at things. Things happen in the NFL from series to series, week to week, and certainly in today’s climate, you have to be ready for anything.”

“He’s grinding through it. He’s doing a nice job so far with what we’ve thrown at him.”

Unproven though Woodside may be, the Titans consistently have expressed confidence in the 25-year-old out of Toledo, who the Cincinnati Bengals selected in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft

A big reason for that vote of confidence is the familiarly Woodside brings to the table. He played in all four of Tennessee’s preseason games last summer. He completed more than 70 percent of his throws for 539 yards and two touchdowns.

In the fourth and final preseason game, he played start to finish in a 19-15 victory against the Chicago Bears. Woodside completed 17 of 24 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, finishing the game with a 104.4 passer rating.

Early in 2019, he played in the Alliance of American Football and was the starter for the San Antonio franchise until that league folded.

Woodside does have some competition in Cole McDonald, who the Titans selected in the seventh round out of Hawaii in April. Last week, Vrabel said coaches like McDonald’s skillset, size and ability to extend plays with his athleticism.

Experience, however, is in Woodside’s favor.

“He’s had some pro snaps,” quarterbacks coach Pat O’Hara said last week. “It wasn’t in the NFL, but he’s had pro snaps as a full-time starter in the Alliance. And that really helped him. Certainly, he carried that over to the preseason last year and did some good things.

“So, he’s earned the opportunity right now to earn [the backup] job. The rest remains to be seen.”

Monday, he got a chance to show what he could do with the starters.

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