Titans’ starting running back DeMarco Murray was injured late in the loss to the Rams on Sunday, throwing a wrench into the backfield plans. The Titans called it an LCL injury. Murray underwent an MRI, which revealed a sprain of the LCL. Titans’ head coach Mike Mularkey said that it would be a matter of pain tolerance for Murray.
Murray currently ranks second to Derrick Henry in rushing yards this season, despite handling 36 more carries.
It’s clear that this coaching staff still trusts Murray to handle the ball more, especially as of late. He’s gone back to being the bell-cow over the past few weeks after splitting carries at a near 50-50 clip during the middle stages of the season.
Needless to say, losing Murray for Sunday’s must win game against the Jaguars would be a big development. That seemed likely after the game on Sunday, but Mularkey isn’t willing to shut that door yet.
“I’m not going to rule him out just yet,” Mularkey said on Tuesday. “I'd say he's day-to-day right now and I just hope for the best. Maybe in a limited role. We don't know yet.” Mularkey went on to mention that Murray is a “different guy” when it comes to injury recovery.
So that’s not exactly the most confident statement that I’ve ever heard. It’s clear that the Titans feel like they have to have Murray out there though, likely for passing down situations. We haven’t seen Derrick Henry really get an extended look as a pass catcher or pass protector. Can David Fluellen fill that role? We haven’t seen much of him at all this year.
I said this way back in the summer. The Titans need a third down type back, if nothing else for depth reasons. With as banged up as DeMarco Murray has been all season, it’s been kind of surprising to see the Titans not really address it throughout the year. Now with everything on the line, the Titans might be forced to lean on Henry in that role.