Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker has been quiet the last two games, so what’s going on?
With limited snaps and targets over the last two games, one has to wonder what’s going on with Tennessee Titans tight end, Delanie Walker?
Over the last two games, Walker has just two catches for 14 yards — and it’s not like he’s getting a ton of passes thrown his way, either. In that span, Walker has seen four targets, which is a far cry from the seven he was averaging during the first three weeks of the season.
In Week 4, Walker caught just one pass for four yards and played just 20 snaps in total. In Week 5, Walker caught one pass for 10 yards and played 27 snaps. In both of those games, Walker was out-snapped by backup tight end, Jonnu Smith.
Are we seeing a changing of the guard? Not likely considering Smith hasn’t had much action outside of two big plays this season, and he has just seven targets in five games.
We thought a knee issue that limited Walker during the week prior to the Atlanta Falcons game was a cause of his low snap count in that game, and Walker even admitted the Titans were managing his snaps because of the knee.
Against the Bills, Walker started off the game with a 26-yard reception that was eventually called back because of a holding penalty on left tackle Taylor Lewan, but he was barely heard from again after that.
After the game, there was no talk about a concerted effort to limit his snaps because of his knee, so there was no reasonable explanation for his lack of involvement. Walker looks to still be running solid routes and seems to have plenty left in the tank, so those aren’t the issues here.
Perhaps the Titans are still taking it easy with Walker to protect his knee, but if not his lack of usage is troubling. Walker was the Titans’ most consistent pass-catcher through three weeks and is typically a favorite target of quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Of course, a lack of pass protection has made it hard for Mariota to find any of his pass-catchers consistently this season, however in such a scenario a normally reliable safety valve like Walker would be utilized even more.
And his lack of snaps are particularly surprising considering the Titans could use as much help as possible in pass protection.
Offensive coordinator Arthur Smith has to figure out ways to get Walker more involved moving forward. The Titans simply can’t let one of their best offensive weapons go to waste.