Aug 23, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans defensive back Michael Griffin (33) celebrates with teammate linebacker Akeem Ayers (56) after running back an interception from Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton (not pictured) during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
When Kendall Wright and Akeem Ayers were injured in the Tennessee Titans preseason game on Saturday… I just assumed they would be out for the season and the team would go 0-16. I tend to overreact when bad things happen to the Titans. Of course they will both be fine come regular season and the Titans will win the Super Bowl (I’m also somewhat of an optimist), but the incident had me pondering which Tennessee Titan would be the worst to lose for the season. Don’t get me wrong it hurts to lose any starter for any reason, but losing these two players could devastate Tennessee’s season. So without further ado, I bring to you the “please football gods don’t let these players get a major injury” list.
Akeem Ayers: I mentioned him in the introduction and he definitely makes this list. With Ayers out of the starting lineup the Titans defense would go from bad to terrible. He is the best linebacker on the team and a rising star on a defense that needs as many stars as it can get. His ability to rush the quarterback is 2nd to none on this squad and allows him to not only play linebacker, but also allows him to get his hand in the dirt and get after opposing passers.
Chris Johnson: Speaking of play makers… CJ2K should be considered a two-sport athlete with as many home runs as he has on his résumé. Even if you don’t consider him an elite running back you have to admit he’s a game changer. He can single-handedly change the outcome of a game and the Titans will rely on that ability all season long. Not only does Johnson make the run game great, he takes pressure off quarterback Jake Locker. If he were to get injured Locker would be relied on to make plays consistently and up to this point Locker hasn’t necessarily shown he’s up to that challenge.
If the Titans plan on making the playoffs they’ll need all the help they can get and losing either of these two players would effectively extinguish all hope of that. Both of these players are primed for huge seasons and if they stay healthy they make the Tennessee Titans much better.