The Tennessee Titans have released their injury report from Thursday and declared that five starters will miss their AFC South matchup against the Houston Texans in Week 16.
However, that doesn’t mean that the Titans are only missing five starters. No one in the NFL has felt the attrition of the season more than the Tennessee Titans and the accumulation of injuries goes far beyond this injury report.
This may feel like deja vu and there is a good reason for that. This is exactly what happened to the team last year as they managed to secure the top seed in the NFL, only to fall apart in the playoffs.
While fans might think that this experience would have taught the team how to deal with injuries better this time around…well that just hasn’t been the case. The injuries and the poor management of those injuries are a big reason why the team is riding a four-game losing streak and why Tennessee Titans fans have almost no confidence in this team.
So when you look at the big picture, which Tennessee Titans starters is this team missing?
Tennessee Titans injuries run deep
You can break the Tennessee Titans injuries into two groups, the starters which include:
1. QB Ryan Tannehill
2. LT Taylor Lewan
3. RG Nate Davis
4. C Ben Jones
5. EDGE Harold Landry
6. CB Kristian Fulton
7. LB David Long
8. SCB Elijah Molden
And players who either would have earned a starting job or who would have rotated in heavily
9. RB2 Dontrell Hilliard (the team’s leader in touchdown receptions)
10. OL Jamarco Jones/Dillon Radunz (if both were healthy they would be an improvement over Aaron Brewer and Dennis Daley respectively)
11. SWR Kyle Philips
As if losing 11 starters wasn’t bad enough, we don’t even know the status of guys like Treylon Burks, Denico Autry, Tre Avery, and Zach Cunningham.
While we all expect them to be able to play, Mike Vrabel didn’t make anything clear and he has had Fridays (or Thursdays in the case of games on a Saturday) where he has given the impression that players could make it back only for them to be a scratch when it came time to play.
The Houston Texans are playing with a lot of energy despite only having one win all season and the Titans have been flat for a month now. Even though this projects to be a run-heavy game, in cold weather, at home, this is going to be a battle for the Tennessee Titans.
If they win it will be because Derrick Henry carries the load on offense and Malik Willis plays smart football, while the defense returns to form with several key pieces coming back. While it won’t have a big impact on draft position or the playoff race, it is hard to imagine the morale in that locker room if they host a 1-win Texans team and lose.