The Tennessee Titans will be playing on short rest when they face off against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night in Week 16. That short rest won't keep one key player from making a critical step in his return from a lengthy absence. According to NFL insider Field Yates, Titans star wide receiver A.J. Brown is set to return from IR and be activated ahead of the matchup with the Niners.

While there's no guarantee Brown is going to be ready to play on Thursday, the fact the Titans activated him bodes well for his chances of suiting up. Brown was placed on injured reserve with a chest injury on Nov. 27, after sustaining the ailment in Tennessee's matchup with the Houston Texans in Week 11.

Because a player is forced to miss three games after being placed on IR, Brown was only eligible to be activated this week, as the Titans had a bye in Week 13.

The game being played on Thursday will make it more difficult for Brown to be ready to play, and if he does suit up it's doubtful he'd play at his usual capacity, but regardless of if the wideout is available this week or next, his return bodes well for the Titans who have been plagued by injuries at wide receiver all season.

After a tremendous start to the season, injuries to key players such as Brown, Derrick Henry, Julio Jones, and more have seen the Titans fall to 9-5, just one game ahead of the Indianapolis Colts. Getting their top receiving threat back in action as soon as possible will be critical towards helping the Titans protect their division lead.