Camp questions the Titans must answer: Delanie Walker’s health

Camp questions the Titans must answer: Delanie Walker’s health

As training camp dawns for the Tennessee Titans on July 25 – just over three weeks away – there are several questions that abound for the team heading into 2019.
TitanInsider will periodically examine those questions and concerns in the days leading up to camp opening.
One area where the Titans are hoping won’t be a question is at tight end where veteran Delanie Walker returns after suffering a broken leg in the season opener against Miami.
The loss of Walker, the Titans’ top pass-receiving weapon, severely hurt the Titans offense, which ranked 29th in passing last season and 25th overall in 2019. Walker had at least 800 yards receiving and 63 passes in each of the four seasons prior to his leg injury.
Walker made a brief appearance for the Titans on the practice field during off-season work, and told reporters that he estimated that his leg was about “85 percent,” and despite no formal timetable around his return, said he has plans to be back and ready to roll when the Titans open the season in September in Cleveland.
The biggest question regarding Walker, who turns 35 this season and has been an ageless performer, is whether the injury and his age might finally slow him down.
The good news is that the Titans might not have to rely as much on him on the between the hash routes that Marcus Mariota has had more success with. They signed slot receiver Adam Humphries as a free agent and drafted receiver A.J. Brown in the second round.
But in terms of tight ends, it is pretty much Walker or bust. His replacement, Jonnu Smith, missed all the off-season work with a knee injury suffered late last year, and will be a question mark in his own right.
The Titans signed journeyman Ryan Hewitt after the off-season work was done, but he will likely compete to be the team’s blocking tight end.
In addition to Smith, others who helped fill in for Walker last season included Anthony Firkser and MyCole Pruitt. All three of those players had their moments of contribution but collectively (48 receptions) didn’t come close to matching Walker’s production.
Even with more weapons in the wide receiver corps, the Titans have to hope that Walker returns close to the level he played at before the injury.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *