And mercifully the preseason ended for the Tennessee Titans, who fell to the Minnesota Vikings, 13-3, Thursday night.
The Titans, who finished the preseason 0-4, didn’t risk anyone that already has a roster spot locked up in closing out the preseason, instead playing all backups throughout the game to get a final look at a number of players who might be on the roster bubble at a variety of positions.
In going winless in the preseason, the Titans didn’t exactly put their best foot forward. But those games don’t matter, as the Titans now move toward the regular season, which begins Sept. 9 in Miami.
“It’s somewhat disappointing because we’re all competitive athletes and everybody wants to win,” said defensive lineman David King, who provided one of the few highlights for Tennessee with a strip sack in the fourth quarter. “But at the end of the day, it is preseason and you can’t make too big a deal about it. It’s about getting into game shape and seeing other opponents and just trying to make plays when you have the opportunities with your reps.”
Next up for the Titans and the other 31 NFL teams will be roster cuts, which have to be done by Saturday afternoon to trim the roster from 90 players down to 53.
Lots of players on the roster bubble were hoping to show one last time that they deserve a chance on the 53-man roster once cuts are made Friday and Saturday. King was one who might have done just that with his sack and caused fumble on Vikings QB Peter Pujals.
“It doesn’t hurt,” King said of the play. “But at the end of the day, I just put my best foot forward and let the chips fall. No matter what happens, I won’t hang my head. I know I gave it my all.”
The Titans started rookie Luke Falk, who played the entire game at quarterback, as Coach Mike Vrabel elected to not only hold out starter Marcus Mariota, but also second-stringer Blaine Gabbert.
Falk, who was 13 of 24 for 114 yards, directed the Titans to their only scoring drive in the first quarter, as Tennessee settled for Ryan Succop’s 24-yard field goal
After that, the Vikings tied the game in the second period when Daniel Carlson connected from 39 yards out. Carlson gave Minnesota the lead in the third quarter when he connected from 22 yards out.\
The Vikings finally scored the game’s only touchdown with 7:18 left in the game when third-string quarterback Kyle Sloter found Brandon Zylstra for a 24-yard touchdown pass.
Injury update: Rookie receiver Devin Ross exited the game in the first half with an ankle injury and did not return.