Titans sign another punter with 3-time Pro Bowler Kern hurt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans already have a second replacement kicker on the roster with the first on injured reserve, and now they have a second punter.

Three-time Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern was limited Wednesday with an injured right groin muscle that kept him from practicing Thursday. So the Titans signed punter Johnny Townsend to the roster Thursday.

Special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman says they’ll be going day by day with this situation.

“With Brett obviously we wanted to bring some punters in to work out and just see what’s going on,” Aukerman said. “Obviously Johnny had a good workout for us today, so we’ll end up seeing what he can do and see how Brett progresses throughout the week.”

The Titans went through this last season when Kern went on injured reserve, and they brought in Ryan Allen, who kicked in one game. Trevor Daniel played in two before Kern returned.

Aukerman said it is difficult when a guy comes in because Kern also holds on field goals and extra points.

The 6-foot-1 Townsend has appeared in 17 games. He was a fifth-round pick by Oakland in the 2018 draft where he played in 16 games as a rookie, and he played one game last year for Baltimore. He has 72 punts averaging 43.4 yards with a net of 382 yards. Townsend has put 17 inside the 20.

Townsend played at Florida in college and finished with the highest punting average of 46.2 yards in Southeastern Conference history.

NOTES: LT Taylor Lewan (toe) returned to practice Thursday. Wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones (hamstrings) did not practice along with OLB Bud Dupree (knee), CB Caleb Farley (shoulder) and DL Larrell Murchison (elbow). All Pro running back Derrick Henry was given the day off. CB Kristian Fulton (ankle) practiced fully after being limited Wednesday.

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