The Titans announced that they are moving tight end Jonnu Smith and right tackle Jack Conklin to injures reserve, officially ending their 2018 seasons.
Both players suffered knee injuries in Tennessee’s 30-9 win over the Jaguars on Thursday night. Dennis Kelly figures to slot in at right tackle and the team should be in great shape there. Kelly has been outstanding in limited duty over the past three seasons. Some, including me, have already called for Kelly to start over Conklin prior to the injury. The problem is that depth now becomes a concern for Tennessee at tackle. Taylor Lewan has been in and out of the lineup for much of the year and now Tyler Marz figures to be the first man off the bench with Kelly in the starting lineup.
Smith’s replacement is far less clear. The Titans have had production from Luke Stocker, Anthony Firkser, and MyCole Pruitt throughout the year, but Smith was emerging as a big time playmaker for the Titans in recent weeks. The team will likely use a combination of those three to soak up Smith’s snaps. Firkser is the best receiver of the bunch and will likely see an expanded role, but he’s a suspect blocker. Stocker is a physical blocker and will probably handle a good chunk of the early down work. Pruitt has been very good as a blocker as well and has the athleticism to offer some pass catching threat as well. It will be interesting to see how they mix the reps for these three guys.
The Titans added a tight end in Cole Wick from the 49ers practice squad. At 6’-6” and 257 pounds Wick is a big, physical blocking type tight end. The transition from Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers offense to Matt LaFleur’s Titans offense should help him get up to speed quickly.
Pasztor is a seven year veteran tackle who most recently was with the Falcons, but was released earlier this year.