Tennessee Titans rookie might debut vs New Orleans Saints

Dez Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports)
Dez Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Tennessee Titans are 7-2 and have a strong grasp on the top seed in the AFC, so what could make this team more exciting?

Heading into April, there was hope that the Tennessee Titans would leave the draft with at least three rookies that could contribute immediately. Unfortunately, injuries have prevented that from happening.

First-round pick Caleb Farley made his first start of the season against the Buffalo Bills, but he tore his ACL in the first half in an incredible stroke of bad luck.

Fourth-round sleeper Rashad Weaver looked poised for a good rookie season until he also suffered a season-ending leg injury after playing just 12 snaps on defense.

Elijah Molden and Dillon Radunz have seen the field a lot more lately than they did early in the season. A lot of that is on the coaches who insisted on leaving Molden in man coverage with fast slot receivers instead of playing him how they are now (zone-heavy with more of his man coverage matchups being with tight ends and bigger receivers).

The coaches still haven’t figured out exactly how to use Dillon Radunz as they insist on putting him at guard instead of tackle. You could devote an entire article to why using him as a guard (where he had 0 starts in college) instead of tackle (where he was a decorated starter for 32 games) doesn’t make any sense, especially when the coaches seemingly decide that the tackle/guard combination of Bobby Hart/Dillon Radunz is better than Dillon Radunz/Aaron Brewer.

But this isn’t an article about the misuse of one rookie, it is an article about a rookie who might finally be on the field this week. That is fourth-round rookie Dez Fitzpatrick, a name that Tennessee Titans fans would be hard-pressed to remember.

Why Dez Fitzpatrick might play his first game with the Tennessee Titans

Earlier in the week the Titans and Josh Reynolds mutually decided to part ways, and Tennessee decided to protect Dez Fitzpatrick who is on the practice squad currently.

Right now the Titans have 52 players on the active roster and they haven’t brought in a receiver to replace Reynolds. Putting two and two together suggests that Fitzpatrick will be a game-day call-up.

He might be inactive, but he has been getting great reviews from the coaches about his work as a special teams player and about his work on the “show team” (which you might know better as scout team).

The final active roster spot will probably go to a returning Kristian Fulton, but Fulton probably won’t play special teams. That means that the Titans could gain special teams and receiver depth by letting Fitzpatrick play without keeping up an extra cornerback just to play special teams.

This is a big step for a player that many Tennessee Titans fans had already given up on, and if he can bounce back and become a role player for the Titans it would scratch off a small need for the team this offseason.