On Wednesday, the Tennessee Titans listed starting punter Brett Kern as a limited participant with a groin injury on their injury report. Because it’s unclear whether or not the 35-year-old will be able to play this weekend against the New York Jets, the team decided to look for some security at the position. The Titans are expected to sign veteran punter Johnny Townsend to their active roster on Thursday, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo . The fourth-year player from Florida was previously with the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad before being released on Sept. 21. Townsend was drafted in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Raiders. During his rookie season, he punted in all 16 games, but he didn’t do enough to keep his starting job the following year. Townsend made brief appearances on the practice squads of the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, and Kansas City Chiefs after leaving the Raiders. After Baltimore starter Sam Koch was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list in 2020, he punted twice in one game for the Ravens.
In his three years in the NFL, Townsend has punted 72 times for an average of 43 yards per punt. Per punt, 3 yards are gained.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 30, 2021
It’s unclear whether the Titans will call upon Townsend to play this weekend, but they clearly wanted to have punter insurance in case Kern’s groin injury prevented him from doing so. On Thursday, Tennessee will provide another update on the status of its regular starting quarterback. The Titans will face the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, regardless of who lines up at punter.