Before the game against the Indianapolis Colts even started, Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans made a decision that might have cost them the game.
On Sunday, the Tennessee Titans got Treylon Burks back into the mix after he missed nearly a month with a very scary-looking concussion. He played sparingly in the game and didn't have a catch, but Mike Vrabel said that was part of the plan and that they were just trying to get him acclimated to playing again.
To be clear, I don't have any problem with that. Burks should be a massive focal point of the last month of the season and if he could get some momentum going into the offseason it would be good for Burks, Will Levis, the offense, and the team in general.
The problem I have (and the problem you should have) is that they decided that they couldn't keep six wide receivers active, so they scratched Kyle Philips.
If that name rings a bell for you, good because it is a name that you should be hearing more of. In his first month of action, Philips was the team's second-best receiver despite having fewer snaps than a lot of his teammates.
With Levis this season, Philips has 12 receptions for 160 yards and he has an explosive play (20+ yards) on one-third of those receptions.
Mike Vrabel has said that they kept up Colton Dowell instead and that he has started to take strides for the Titans on special teams and he was too good to keep inactive. For what it is worth, Dowell has a whopping 3 tackles this season.
Even if that sort of elite special teams production was invaluable to the team, was Philips the guy who needed to be scratched to keep McDowell active? Guys like Jaleel Johnson, Kyle Peko, and T.K. McClendon are all redundant, why not keep one of them inactive?
Those three don't make any sort of positive impact and they don't make plays on special teams, so why not have one of them inactive and keep one of your most explosive weapons active?
It just doesn't make sense, and Tennessee Titans fans should be annoyed that Philips wasn't active in an overtime game where the Titans had six dropped passes. Would Philips have been able to make a play for the Titans' offense that extended a drive or put up points for the Titans? We don't know, but he was a very helpful player to have for the month when Mike Vrabel gave him a chance to play...
What we do know is that this wasn't anything that the staff considered to be a mistake and fans can expect to see something like this happen again this season, which means that the Titans are limiting an already limited group of pass catchers for their rookie quarterback.