NASHVILLE – Bud Dupree hopes to return – one more time.
The veteran fullback has only played six of the Tennessee Titans’ ten games this season due to a hip problem and most recently missed last Thursday’s win in Green Bay.
The latest injury, Dupree said Tuesday, was to his other hip, not the one that had kept him out of two games earlier this season and limited him to a total of 21 defensive snaps in two others.
But the good news is that he’s returned to the practice field.
“Just going through that is obviously frustrating,” Dupree said. “I’ve dealt with a lot of injuries since I’ve been here – injuries that come out of nowhere, little things that you don’t really know how happen. But I’m looking forward to being back on the field (in training) and continuing to prove myself.”
Dupree has impressed this season with a total of three sacks and three tackles for losses — even if he’s played 40 or more snaps in just four games.
The sack total is as high as Dupree had in 11 games last season and he already has one more tackle than in 2021.
He hopes to return at the same level he played before the last hip injury.
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“I’m feeling good and looking forward to going out here today and seeing the progress and hopefully staying on the field for a long time next time,” said Dupree.
How did he rate his chances of playing the Bengals on Sunday?
“[Today’s practice]will say it all,” Dupree said.
Two other key Titans defenders who missed the game against Green Bay also trained Tuesday — safety Amani Hooker (shoulder) and nickel cornerer Elijah Molden (groin). Both players had practiced to some degree leading up to the Packers fight but were held back.
“I did everything I could to play last week,” Molden said. “I think it was just the short week and everything, and what happened the week before, it wasn’t really time (to get well). But it was definitely frustrating.”
Molden has only played one game this season — Week 10 against Denver — as he aggravated the groin strain that put him on injured reserve earlier in the season.
“I didn’t repeat my entire injury[against the Broncos],” Molden said. “That would have been bad. So I’m working through it right now and managing the expectations as well. It will get better over time but I have to go through the ups and downs a bit.”
Hooker has only played five games this season and has not seen action since his shoulder injury on Oct. 30 against Houston.
The fourth-grader sounded upbeat about his health after being given a few extra days off over the weekend.
“Actually, these few days were badly needed,” Hooker said. “I’m feeling better. I’ll be out today. I missed the boys.”