Tennessee Titans: So long Bishop Sankey
By P. L. Colter
The Tennessee Titans may have played their way out of a division title on Sunday, falling to the Texans and extending their losing streak to six games.
And running back Bishop Sankey may have played his way out of Nashville.
If you ask the casual fan who was the first running back taken in last year’s draft, most would say Jeremy Hill of the Cincinnati Bengals, or San Francisco’s Carlos Hyde. Few would know that it was Sankey…
And for good reason.
Seven rookie running backs rushed for more yards than Sankey last year, and nine had more touchdowns. The Titans gave Sankey every opportunity to be the lead back last season, but he underwhelmed to the tune of two touchdowns…and two lost fumbles.
He was clearly on the hot seat, evidenced by Tennessee selecting a running back in this year’s draft too.
Sankey started the 2015 season with a career performance, then quickly regressed to a poor man’s version of his rookie season. Somehow, he got worse. Coach Whisenhunt had no choice but to reduce his carries, which opened the door for the running back by committee that we see today.
Since being inserted into the line up, rb Antonio Andrews has proven to be the most consistent, and the most physical of all the backs. He has earned the lion’s share of the workload.
Dexter McCluster seems to be settling into his role as the change-up back, receiver, and return man. He too, has earned his touches. The one-two combo seems to be working, when the Titans work it.
With the rotation trimmed down, Bishop Sankey was all but phased out of the run game. He was now solely returning kicks, a proverbial writing on the wall if you will…
Sunday in Houston, Sankey couldn’t even do that right.
His first half fumble on a kick return swung the momentum in Houston’s favor. The Texans quickly cashed in with a score.
And it wasn’t just the turnover, it was Sankey’s body language after the play. He casually strolled to the pile where his teammates were fighting to recover the ball.
If I was fighting for my job, I would be in that pile fighting for that ball too.
On the ensuing kickoff, Sankey mishandled the ball again, but instead of taking a knee in the endzone, he turned bad into worse by bringing the ball out and burying the Titans inside their own ten yard line.
Dexter McCluster returned kicks in the second half.
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We never saw Sankey again Sunday, and with rookie David Cobb set to return from injury, it’s probably the last we’ve seen of him in Nashville.
So long Bishop Sankey.