Titans practice without Haynesworth, Vanden Bosch, Mawae

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans returned to practice Wednesday with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, end Kyle Vanden Bosch and center Kevin Mawae all watching.

Luckily, they have a first-round bye so the trio can keep healing.

Haynesworth sat out the final two regular-season games with a sprained left knee. Vanden Bosch missed the final three and had minor surgery to repair a groin muscle Dec. 16. Mawae hurt his right elbow in the Titans' 31-14 win over Pittsburgh on Dec. 21 and sat out last weekend's 23-0 loss to Indianapolis.

Coach Jeff Fisher had said he expected both Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch back for their divisional playoff game.

"They are on target, yes," Fisher said.

Vanden Bosch worked with a trainer separately, but watched the end of the Titans' 75-minute practice. He said he feels no pain since the surgery and hopes to play as long as he doesn't suffer any setback. He expects to be a game-day decision when the Titans host either Baltimore, San Diego or Indianapolis.

"This is a special team, and I think we're going to do some good things in the postseason," he said. "Selfishly, I want to be a part of it. But at the same time, I want to do everything I can to make sure this team has success."

That also means being cautious for a defensive end who had 12.5 sacks for Tennessee in 2007, but has been hampered by a groin injury first suffered Oct. 5 in a win at Baltimore.

"I don't want to put myself out there if I'm not going to help this team. That's just the feeling that everybody in this organization has. I can't go out there and promise sacks or a lot of production. But I can promise I'll just lay it all out there on the field," Vanden Bosch said.

Haynesworth was frustrated at not being able to practice or play. He also said he feels like he's had slow progress in his recovery, which is why he even brought in a chiropractor from Atlanta to help him heal as quickly as possible. He used the chiropractor in 2007 when he strained a hamstring that kept him out three straight games.

The 6-foot-6 tackle, listed at 320 pounds, said he hasn't even been asked to run yet.

"I'm not a doctor. I'm not Dr. Haynesworth," said the tackle who had a career-high 8.5 sacks.

That doesn't mean Haynesworth doesn't expect to be available when needed.

"I would be surprised if I didn't play," Haynesworth said.

The Titans are practicing Thursday and Friday, then waiting to see who they'll play. They added fullback and special teams player Casey Cramer back to the roster and placed backup linebacker Josh Stamer on injured reserve after he injured his groin at Indianapolis.

Reserve defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson also was back at practice after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. His agent said at the time that Vickerson had tested positive for a diuretic.

Vickerson said he and his agent had talked with the Titans before deciding not to fight the suspension like some other NFL players who went to court and got an injunction to keep playing.

"Different strokes for different folks. My situation was totally different from the other guys. We were already in the playoffs. That's why I took the suspension. ... I think that was the best solution, and I come back fresh for the playoffs," he said.

Vickerson played in seven of 12 games and had 1.5 sacks. He has 23 tackles, including one for loss, with four quarterback pressures. Fisher said Vickerson came in Tuesday and worked out at the team's headquarters.

"He'll continue to work through the weekend to get caught up, but it's good to have him back," Fisher said. "We have an exemption this week so we get an extra roster spot, and then we'll make a decision next week."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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