Titans HC discusses record-breaking star's return from devastating injury

titans hc discusses record-breaking star's return from devastating injury

Tennessee Titans punter Ryan Stonehouse.

Ryan Stonehouse broke an 82-year-old NFL record as a rookie and gave the Titans similar advantages in the punt game during his second season, but Year 2 ended abruptly due to major injuries suffered in December. The record-setting punter remains on the mend.

A game in which the Colts blocked two punts led to the firing of the Titans’ special teams coordinator, and the second of those blocks — by Indianapolis DB Tony Brown — resulted in Stonehouse being carried off the field. The talented specialist suffered ACL and MCL tears, along with a broken bone in his left leg, as a result of the second block, per veteran Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky. While these issues have affected his non-kicking leg, Stonehouse is uncertain to be ready during training camp.

“Too early to tell,” Titans HC Brian Callahan said, via TennesseeTitans.com’s Jim Wyatt, regarding a timetable. “I mean, the injury is obviously significant enough to where he’s still out at this point. He is rehabbing. He’s doing a great job in his rehab process. We’ll see where we get to when we report to training camp and where that’s at. His progress has been really good. He has been working, and it’s going to be a matter of when the doctors clear it when we get to training camp and then when he feels confident enough.”

A 2022 UDFA out of Colorado State, Stonehouse was a revelation as a rookie. He broke Sammy Baugh‘s single-season punting average mark, moving the NFL’s standard from 51.4 yards per boot (set in 1940) to 53.1. Stonehouse matched that average in 2023, though his season ended in Week 13. Stonehouse’s first two seasons sit atop the NFL’s single-season punt averages, with the Cowboys’ Bryan Anger matching Baugh’s mark last season. Only one other player — Shane Lechler (2009) — has surpassed 51 yards per punt in a season.

Stonehouse’s skills certainly make this a rehab effort to monitor. The injury occurred Dec. 3, putting Week 1 as a better aim for a Stonehouse return. The third-year punter said recently during a Sirius XM Radio interview a Week 1 return stands as his goal.

The Titans added Ty Zentner following Stonehouse’s injury; the fill-in option remains on Tennessee’s roster. Zentner, who also served as a Texans fill-in for Cameron Johnston last season, averaged 44.9 yards per punt as a rookie. The Titans will not need to determine if Stonehouse needs to begin the season on the reserve/PUP list, a designation that would sideline him for at least four games, until late August.

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