The Titans officially ruled Jack Conklin out for Sunday’s matchup against the Patriots with a concussion. That means that Dennis Kelly will get the start at right tackle. Kelly is one of the best backup tackles in the league so this isn’t quite as painful to the Titans as it would be for other teams.
Taywan Taylor (foot), Tajae Sharpe (ankle), Derrick Morgan (shoulder), Dane Cruikshank (knee), and Bennie Logan (knee) are all officially listed as questionable for Sunday. Taylor and Cruikshank haven’t practiced all week so I’d put their odds at the lowest of this group. Morgan had turned in two limited practices before a DNP designation on Friday which seems to hint at another game without the veteran edge rusher, but we will find out for sure on Sunday.
The guy that I think has the best shot to play out of that group is Tajae Sharpe. He played through his ankle injury on Monday night and turned in limited practices on Wednesday and Friday this week. He seems likely to be available at least in some capacity on Sunday.
#Titans WR Tajae Sharpe was able to cut and plant on the ankle that was taped up without a problem on the wet practice field today.— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) November 9, 2018
If Sharpe goes, I would expect him and Corey Davis to be the starters out wide with Cameron Batson coming in to the game in the slot. Batson could be a sneaky important part of the game plan at wide receiver this weekend.
Inside linebackers Will Compton and Daren Bates both practiced in full and seem likely to go this weekend. Both guys are key special teams players in addition to linebacker depth.
The Patriots head in to the game with six players listed as questionable:
LT Trent Brown
RG Shaq Mason
TE Rob Gronkowski
RB Sony Michel
LB Dont’a Hightower
TE Jacob Hollister
That group includes four starters on offense and one on defense for the defending AFC champs. The Patriots often will make decisions for away games before the team travels so we may get news today if a player or two is left off the team flight.
UPDATE: Reports from the Boston Herald this morning are indicating that Rob Gronkowski is “unlikely to play” against the Titans this weekend. If the big tight end can’t go, that’s a huge break for Tennessee.