The Titans are disappointed to lose their opener to the Dolphins, but the organization is much more concerned about three key injuries they suffered.
The NFL season is more of a marathon than a sprint, but the Titans may have broken their leg getting out of the starter’s block. Injuries to three key players will cause the team much more concern than losing their opening game against the Dolphins.
Marcus Mariota was the Titans’ most important loss on the day. He suffered some type of elbow injury which caused Blaine Gabbert to come on in relief and finish the game. Mariota had already thrown two interceptions by the time he left the game, but he’s definitely the team’s best option under center. If he’s forced to miss significant time, it’s going to be impossible for the Titans to stay in playoff contention.
The hits didn’t stop there for Tennessee. Left tackle Taylor Lewan also missed a significant portion of the game after suffering a concussion. There’s obviously no timetable on his return as of yet, but it’s safe to assume he will miss a week or two of action. The Titans are going to struggle to protect any quarterback they trot out there in his absence. The team can skate by without him for a week or two, but if the issue lingers it could sink the offense for the season.
The last significant injury the team suffered might be the most serious. Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker was stretchered off the field with what appeared to be a significant leg injury. It would be irresponsible to speculate on the exact nature of his injury, but it certainly didn’t look good.
Losing Walker is going to put a ton of pressure on the team’s other skill position players to pick up the slack. Shifting guys like Rishard Matthews and Corey Davis from a supporting role to a primary option for the offense is fraught with danger. Neither guy has shown enough in the NFL to prove they’re capable of assuming that type of responsibility.
Losing to the Dolphins in Week 1 already puts the Titans behind the eight ball. The three major injuries they suffered in the game might burn the entire pool table down. Tennessee fans need some positive injury news this week to keep their playoff hopes alive.