Who will step up for the injured Tennessee Titans this weekend

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

Usually, Thursday can be a turning point for Tennessee Titans players on the injury report, but there wasn’t anything to get excited about this week.

In recent years, games against the Jacksonville Jaguars have been low-stakes affairs for the Tennessee Titans. However, a win this week would almost certainly guarantee the team their third-straight AFC South championship.

If that is going to happen then some backups are going to have to step up to replace the injured Titans.

The “good” news is that there are five Tennessee Titans players who have been missed one practice, but they have been limited in another. That means that there is some optimism that they will play on Sunday and those players are: Derrick Henry, Jeffery Simmons, Teair Tart, Nate Davis, and Hassan Haskins.

If I had to guess, I would assume that all five of those guys will play this week, though I would keep an eye on Jeffery Simmons.

7 Tennessee Titans on track to miss this game (and maybe more)

The bad news is that there are seven players who haven’t practiced at all this week and I would pencil in most of those players as out. With that in mind, let’s go player-by-player and discuss their replacement.

Denico Autry, EDGE

No one can replace what Autry brings to the pass rush but Rashad Weaver is going to get the start opposite Bud Dupree here. After missing most of his rookie season, it seems like Weaver is hitting his version of the rookie wall, but he needs to find a way to snap out of it as soon as possible.

Tre Avery, Kristian Fulton, and Elijah Molden, CBs

Avery has actually been really good as a boundary corner for the Tennessee Titans in the games where they have actually gotten a pass rush. The defense will miss him on the boundary especially since he is already the replacement for Kristian Fulton.

Throw in Elijah Molden who was placed on I.R. and it is going to be hard for this defense to do much.

My guess is that Roger McCreary and Terrance Mitchell start on the outside this week and then when the Titans need a slot corner they will either move McCreary inside and bring Greg Mabin on the field, or they will bring Andrew Adams on the field and move Amani Hooker to the slot.

Treylon Burks, WR

It isn’t going to be a one-for-one deal with Burks. I expect Robert Woods and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine to start on the boundary and when the Titans need a slot receiver they will either move one of those two inside and bring Racey McMath on the field or they will move Chig Okonkwo or Austin Hooper into the slot.

C.J. Board, KR

At first, I thought that Racey McMath or Hassan Haskins might fill the kick returner role, but I don’t think they will. The only other active players who have returned punts for the Titans this season are Robert Woods and Amani Hooker, so pencil Woods in as the punt returner if Board can’t play.

David Long Jr., LB

This is a big one, but not an unexpected one. If Long Jr. can’t play this week, I would expect Monty Rice to get his shot as a starter with a heavy rotation of Joe Schobert.

For all the talk about messages being made to the team and the expectations being so high, the Tennessee Titans will never be a real threat to anyone if they can’t figure out how to stay healthy. After two years of being the most injured team in the NFL, no one on the Strength and Conditioning staff is being held accountable and the problem is barely even being acknowledged by the coaching staff.

Fans shouldn’t have expected this team to be any healthier this season, but we will find out just how serious Amy Adams Strunk is about maintaining a level of excellence this offseason by who she allows Mike Vrabel to keep on his staff. If the bar has been raised, then raise it.