[UPDATE 4:50 PM]: The Raiders have officially ruled out starting right tackle Trent Brown and have listed running back Josh Jacobs as questionable with a fractured shoulder. Right guard Gabe Jackson, center Rodney Hudson, and safety Lamarcus Joyner all appear to be set to play despite not logging a full practice all week.
The Titans held their final full practice of the week heading into their first trip to the west coast since 2017, and unfortunately, the injury report remains pretty lengthy. The team has officially ruled out cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, cornerback LeShaun Sims, wide receiver Adam Humphries, and special teams ace Daren Bates for Sunday’s tilt with the Raiders.
The good news is that Derrick Henry, Corey Davis, A.J. Brown, Ben Jones, and Jurrell Casey are all good to go after missing at least some parts of practice this week.
That means the Titans will be without three of their top four cornerbacks — Malcolm Butler has been on IR since Carolina — for this game. Not ideal.
We will likely get a long look at newcomer Tramaine Brock as well as Tye Smith and possibly Kareem Orr during this game. Smith and Orr both had positive moments in the game against the Colts, but they’re certainly not as talented as the guys that were playing ahead of them and Brock has been with the team for all of three days. Communication from veterans like Kevin Byard, Logan Ryan, and Kenny Vaccaro in the back end will be critical.
However, if you had to choose an NFL team to play against while depleted at the cornerback position, you just might pick the current iteration of the Oakland Raiders. Tight end Darren Waller leads the team with 66 grabs for 807 yards. The top wide receiver on the team is offseason free agent addition Tyrell Williams who has just 33 catches for 489 yards.
With rookie slot receiver Hunter Renfrow ruled out with a rib injury, the Raiders are left with Zay Jones (13 catches, 102 yards), Keelan Doss (7 catches, 90 yards), and Trevor Davis (7 catches, 83 yards) as the next most productive options behind Williams. While we did see the Colts group of lightly regarded receivers do some damage against the Titans secondary last week, I don’t think playing Brock and Smith against the likes of Williams and Jones and Doss is a huge mismatch that is likely to be exploited by the Raiders.
The other big name that Tennessee will be missing in Oakland is slot receiver Adam Humphries who missed practice all week with an ankle injury. Humphries is third on the Titans with 37 catches for 374 yards behind A.J. Brown and Corey Davis. He’s been a reliable third down target for Ryan Tannehill and his presence on that critical down will be missed.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Titans deal with Humphries’ absence. Tight end Anthony Firkser is sometimes used as a jumbo slot receiver on third downs and I could see his role expanding this week along with Kalif Raymond — who scored a 40-yard touchdown from the slot last week — and Tajae Sharpe (if he returns... he’s listed as questionable after missing the Colts game). If Sharpe can’t go, Cody Hollister could get some meaningful snaps as well. He had a couple catches last week and showed some flashes during the preseason of being a big-bodied, sure-handed possession type receiver.
Bates is an important loss for the special teams units. He’s a leader in that phase of the game and has made some big plays for the Titans this season. Rookie David Long and veteran Wesley Woodyard will probably be in line to take some of Bates’ snaps on coverage and return units.
In addition to Renfrow, the Raiders have also ruled out starting right tackle Trent Brown with a pectoral injury. He is a massive loss (both figuratively and literally) for the best unit on the Oakland roster.
The Raiders are yet to file their Friday practice report so we will update here when we know more, but right guard Gabe Jackson (knee), center Rodney Hudson (ankle), running back Josh Jacobs (shoulder), and safety Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring) are also players to monitor when the final report does come out.
Hudson, one of the best centers in the NFL, played through his ankle injury last week so I’d expect him to be good to go and Offensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner Jacobs has been playing through a fractured shoulder and has a chance to play through it again this week because NFL players are absurdly tough.