First of all... Merry Christmas! I hope you all got fresh A.J. Brown jerseys like this kid.
The Titans and Texans both broke from their usual practice routine this week to allow players and coaches to be home with their families on Christmas. Instead of their usual Wednesday practice to start the week, the Titans got in some light work on Tuesday. Because of that change in schedule, we have some variations from the usual injury reports as well.
Tuesday’s session was mostly closed to the media and the team did not provide an injury report from that practice. However, we did get some hint of an update from Jim Wyatt.
The @Titans had a scaled back walk-through practice today. Only the stretch period was open. The only player not on field in uniform: Kalif Raymond.— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) December 24, 2019
Everyone else was present, including Adoree' Jackson, Adam Humphries, Corey Davis, Derrick Henry, Jeffery Simmons & Daren Bates
Today, the Titans released an “estimated” injury report representing what the players would have been able to do if they’d had an actual practice.
#Titans-#Texans injury report 4 days before game day.— Erik Bacharach (@ErikBacharach) December 25, 2019
No practice for either team today, so their Wednesday designations are just estimates:
-Adam Humphries, Kalif Raymond, Adoree’ Jackson wouldn’t have practiced for TEN
-DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller wouldn’t have gone for HOU pic.twitter.com/afjO5I9uRc
The highlights are a full participation designation for Derrick Henry, further reinforcing the idea that we are likely to see a much healthier version of El Tractorcito when the Titans hit the field in Houston. Tennessee also projected full days of work for Jeffery Simmons and Daren Bates. Both players sat out last week and Bates has been out since the Colts game.
The bad news is that Adam Humphries, Adoree’ Jackson, and Kalif Raymond were all listed as estimated non-participants. Humphries and Jackson have both been out for weeks with ankle and foot injuries, respectively. Jackson got on the practice field in a limited capacity last week and Humphries at least dressed out for the walk through on Tuesday which counts as progress. Both are clearly still not out of the woods, but we will see if they can heal enough to get cleared to play Sunday.
Both Corey Davis and Kalif Raymond suffered concussions against the Saints and it’s clear that Davis is currently “ahead” of Raymond in the return to play protocol. The Titans added receivers Darius Jennings and Rashard Davis to the 53-man roster earlier this week and are currently carrying 8 wide outs on the roster to make sure they’re covered in case any combination of Davis, Humphries, Raymond, and Cody Hollister — who is also dealing with an ankle injury that limited him today — can’t go Sunday.
The Texans have some injury issues of their own to deal with. We already know that speedy wide receiver Will Fuller will be sitting out this game so his appearance as a DNP is no surprise. DeAndre Hopkins was the only other non-participant for Houston as he would have sat out with an illness if the Texans had practiced today.
More interesting is Deshaun Watson’s limited tag that is being labeled as a back issue. If you watched the Buccaneers game on Saturday, you saw Watson limping and grabbing at the Achilles area of his foot/ankle during the second half, but this is obviously something different.
I personally think the Texans would be absolutely crazy to put Watson behind center on Sunday if the Chiefs win and lock Houston into the 4 seed before the kickoff of Titans-Texans. Can you imagine the (justified) outrage if Bill O’Brien got his star quarterback hurt in a meaningless Week 17 game? With Watson coming up gimpy in Tampa and then showing up on the injury report this week, I think there is a pretty strong chance that the Titans see A.J. McCarron on Sunday.
Other notable Texans that found themselves projected to be limited with injuries include safety Jahleel Addae (Achilles), linebacker Jacob Martin (knee), linebacker Brennan Scarlett (Achilles), wide receiver Kenny Stills (knee), and left tackle Laremy Tunsil (ankle).
The injury report will be something to keep an eye on throughout the week. The Titans will be hoping to get some key players back, and even if Bill O’Brien follows through on his “we’re going to play to win” statements, it’s hard to imagine that they’ll be anything short of ultra-conservative when it comes to injuries this week.