Walker suffered a hand injury at the end of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game last week, and was treated with kid gloves all week in practice. While many lauded Walker as one of the toughest players they have seen in a Tennessee Titans uniform it looks like the team is holding him out this week.
On one hand this is a fairly big hit. Marcus Mariota loves to hit the tight end on seam routes, especially on third down. Not only that, but Walker was one of Mariota's favorite red zone targets. The good thing about this is for all of the flak fans and others around the league gave the Titans for keeping five tight ends, that depth will really help today.
Now Chase Coffman hopefully slides into the starting lineup, with Anthony Fasano and Craig Stevens as rotation blockers. The lone remaining TE Phillip Supernaw showed out on special teams last week and shouldn't have to see the field outside of those snaps.
Paul Kuharsky talked about this earlier in the week, and I agree with his take here. There is no reason to rush back one of Marcus Mariota's favorite targets, let him get fully healthy to prevent a serious injury down the road. He summed up the situation saying this:
"The Titans kept five tight ends on their 53-man roster and should have the depth to play without Walker. If he needs it, that could allow him additional time to heal and gain more of an assurance he won’t have a lingering issue with what he’s said are sprained ligaments in his right wrist."
So, while this could put a damper on the Titans passing game this week, if Marcus Mariota can overcome this, then fans will have all new reasons to have respect for him.