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VOL. 41 | NO. 32 | Friday, August 11, 2017

One gimpy WR no longer a big problem for Titans

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Tennessee Titans rookie receiver Corey Davis limped off the practice field last Thursday with a hamstring injury.

Normally, when the fifth overall pick in the draft goes down with an injury before he even has a chance to contribute, there would be cause for some panic. After all, wide receiver has long been a trouble spot for this franchise, which has rolled through the likes of Tyrone Calico, Kenny Britt, Justin Hunter and Dorial Green-Beckham over the years with very little to show.

But as Davis was diagnosed as being “week to week” with his strained hamstring and likely will miss at least a good portion of the preseason, there was a different feeling surrounding the situation as it relates to the 2017 Titans.

Sure, there was concern, as this is a player the Titans are counting on to develop into a game-changer for their offense. But there was hardly the mood of panic around Saint Thomas Sports Park with Davis’ diagnosis.

Instead, the feeling was that there are other guys on the Tennessee roster perfectly capable of stepping up and keeping things rolling until Davis is able to return.

Namely, veteran Eric Decker, who has made a seemingly seamless transition in Titans camp, running precision routes and catching nearly everything thrown his way.

There also is fellow rookie Taywan Taylor, whose reps took a brief dip with the arrival of Decker. He assumes the slot receiver duties again with Davis out and Decker moving to the outside.

Coach Mike Mularkey says Davis’ unscheduled absence will provide good opportunities for others to get added work.

“It kind of moves Decker out to outside, gets Taywan inside, which is good for both those guys to get the reps,” Mularkey says.

Decker, who is already working well with QB Marcus Mariota, sees the Titans as having plenty of ammunition on the offense.

“In most offenses, you’ve got to be precise,” he says. “The quarterback makes the decision and, as receivers, you’ve got to be in the right spots. This offense, we have a lot of weapons and a lot of ways we can attack a defense.”

A similar situation is happening at running back with DeMarco Murray sitting out a few days with a hamstring issue. Derrick Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, has stepped in as a battering ram, and the run game hasn’t missed a beat.

A clear improvement for the 2017 Tennessee Titans is the depth that has been built across the board – something that has been lacking for a long time with the club, even in some spots last year.

Other than losing Mariota – and let’s be honest, very few NFL teams could sustain momentum if their starting quarterback was lost for an extended period, Dallas’ discovery of Dak Prescott last year being an exception) – the Titans seem poised to handle the injury adversity that might come their way at nearly every other spot on the field.

Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com