By putting Douglas on the practice field, the Titans have triggered a three-week window in which they can bring him off of injured reserve. If he is not activated within that timeframe, he will not be allowed to play for the remainder of the season. However, coach Mike Mularkey says that Douglas could rejoin the roster as early as this week.
Douglas, 33, spent the first six seasons of his career with the Falcons and eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving in 2013. He was less effective upon joining the Titans in 2015, finishing out with 36 catches for 411 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, his usage dwindled with just 15 grabs for 210 yards in 11 games. He took a pay cut to stay with the team in the spring and he hasn’t had a chance to redeem himself thanks to a knee injury.
The Titans stayed competitive with the Steelers on Thursday night before Pittsburgh blew the doors open en route to a 40-17 win. Even after the tough loss, Tennessee is in the hunt for the AFC South crown with a 6-4 record. Douglas might not be able to reprise his 2013 performance, but he could be a useful weapon behind Rishard Matthews, Corey Davis, and Eric Decker.
Per the league’s IR-DTR rules, each team is permitted to bring two players back from IR each season. The Titans are still deliberating whether to also bring linebacker Aaron Wallace back into the fold.