The Titans got some good news and some bad news on the injury front today as the team’s final injury report for their game against the Buccaneers on Sunday featured one very important player cleared to make his return while four others were ruled out.
Jayon Brown should be back after missing the Chargers game with a groin issue. His importance to the Titans defense can’t be overstated as his unique blend of coverage skills and playmaking ability make him a key part of Dean Pees’ scheme. It will be very good to have him back in the fold defensively.
The players that were ruled out officially are special teams ace Chris Milton (calf), cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (foot), edge rusher Sharif Finch (shoulder); and tight end Delanie Walker (ankle). Edge rusher Kamalei Correa is also listed as questionable with a knee injury.
The biggest concern out of that group, to me, is Jackson. Yes, Walker’s absence will hurt to some degree, but he was already playing a reduced snap count before the injury and Jonnu Smith’s presence eases that loss. Plus, Ryan Tannehill appears to be far more comfortable with letting the passing offense run primarily through the receivers.
Jackson will be harder to replace. He has quietly been having a very nice season for the Titans secondary. He’s been the least targeted corner on the team, going an average of 10.5 snaps without seeing a target according to PFF. LeShaun Sims has starting experience and is one of the best CB4s in the NFL, but he isn’t the athlete that Jackson is.
It does look like the Titans will get their starters back on the right side of the offensive line as Jack Conklin and Nate Davis have both been cleared to play after they exited the Chargers game early last weekend.
The Bucs, coming off their bye week, are a healthier team overall, but they’ll be without tight end O.J. Howard, starting right guard Alex Cappa, and backup linebacker Jack Cichy have all been declared out for Sunday’s game. Starting right tackle Demar Dotson is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury as well.
The other looming injury question for Tampa Bay is whether or not star edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul will be activated for this game. He’s missed the entire season up to this point with a neck injury, but reports seem to indicate he has a chance to make his 2019 debut this weekend. His return would bolster an already stout Bucs defensive line featuring Shaquil Barrett and his 9 sacks alongside Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea on the inside.