Sep 30, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Tennessee Titans rookie tight end Taylor Thompson (84) warms up before the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Titans 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Tennessee Titans lost another player to IR this week with TE Jared Cook being put on IR due to a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. That certainly doesn’t help a already struggling offense. Cookie was an easy target with good hands.
On top of that, they’ll be on Monday night football this week as the New York Jets come to town. The Jets have also had their fair share of troubles, being only one game ahead of the (4-9) Titans. Either way, this game is more of a game about pride, rather than making the playoffs.
So, why not see what talent you’ve got? The Titans will have some fresh faces on the field anyways, thanks to injuries. Here’s the three Titans I’ll be watching Monday.
TE Taylor Thompson
Yeah, Jared Cook is gone, and I can’t explain how much that sucks, but it’s also an opportunity. The Tennessee Titans spent a 5th round pick this past draft on a project TE when they took Thompson, and while we’ve heard good things, we haven’t seen much besides his blocking.
Why not let him loose Monday?
The Titans don’t have a lot to lose and while TE Craig Stevens is one of my favorite Titans and has some great hands, Thompson’s raw athleticism has everyone curious. Here’s to hoping we see an increased workload for Thompson, not only Monday, but for the rest of these final games.
QB Jake Locker
Adversity, adversity, adversity. Jake Locker’s sitting in a big ole pile of it right now. I want to see how he responds. The Jets are a beatable team. Let’s see some growth. Let’s see him be more careful with the ball. It’s been anything but a dream year for Locker, who’s had to battle through injuries, offensive coordinator changes, and the likes. I still have all the faith in the world in him, but I’d really like to see him rule the field Monday.
Kenny Britt killed it last week. He finally looked like the Kenny we’ve all been missing. Hopefully he finishes the season strong and sets himself up for a good 2013 season. Nate Washington is available at all the right moments, though for the most part you wouldn’t know if because he isn’t targeted all that often. Kendall Wright is on the verge of 60 receptions, more than any of the rest of the receivers, and he’s a rookie. Michael Preston got the nod last week, recording his first catch of his NFL career. He’s a big guy, and supposedly has great hands, but you’ve got to think that the Titans did it to push the the rest of the receivers.
In the end, they’ve all got my attention. The stats are so evenly distributed between all the major receivers that you can’t help but watch them all. Preston may not even be active, but I like to think he will be.
There’s not much importance in this game really, unless, say, you’re Jerry Gray and just want to keep your job. For the rest of us, it’s almost better to lose. Every weekend I root the Titans, and I’ll continue to do so, but in the back of my head I’m think about how every loss just gets us a higher draft pick. It’s hard to not want a top-5 pick.
That’s just me being honest.
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart