Tennessee Titans get good news on outstanding rookie receiver

Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean)
Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean) /

It is a small sample size, but Tennessee Titans rookie receiver Kyle Philips looks like the steal of the class at wide receiver.

There are 9 rookie receivers in the NFL with more than 20 receiving yards and Kyle Philips is second in that group with 66. Out of those 9 receivers, five were first-round picks (including Treylon Burks), two were second-round picks, one was a fourth-round pick, and one was a fifth-round pick (that is Kyle Philips).

Whether you want to talk about him outperforming his draft position or as one of the best rookie receivers in the NFL in Week 1, no one can deny that he clearly belongs on the field.

That is why it was concerning when Philips showed up on the Tennessee Titans injury report on Thursday with a shoulder injury.

We now know that this happened on one of the last plays of the game when Philips caught a 20+ yard pass to set the Titans up in field goal position. After the play, Philips hustled to get on the field so they could run another play if they wanted to, but unfortunately, Mike Vrabel was overconfident in his kicking game and elected to kick/miss a 47-yarder.

Luckily, Philips confirmed that he would practice today in the pre-practice media session and that means that everyone can take a deep breath.

Can Philips sustain this production with the Tennessee Titans?

Before the season started I looked at some numbers and I realized that Kyle Philips only needs 605 yards to be the most successful slot receiver in a decade. He has already made a dent in that number, but the question is whether or not he can keep that up.

The players and coaching staff have talked about how they don’t want to force the ball to certain players and that each week the matchups and the execution will dictate who has the best day.

However, after such a solid performance in Week 1, it is easy to see how he could become a fixture in the Tennessee Titans offense. Despite only playing 48% of the offensive snaps, he led the team in targets (9), receptions (6), and receiving yards. Not only that, but he was clearly someone that Ryan Tannehill trusted on 3rd downs and in crunch time.

While Philips isn’t the biggest guy, he certainly puts effort into his blocking, and the fact that he is willing to block means that defenses can’t assume the play call when he steps on the field.

In short, Philips was great in Week 1 and even if he doesn’t lead the team in receiving yards every week it is hard to think of a reason for him to play less as the season goes on.