The Titans and Chiefs released the second of their three official injury reports leading up to their AFC Championship Game matchup on Sunday afternoon. The big news is on Kansas City’s side of the report.
Pro Bowl defensive lineman Chris Jones was held out again Thursday with a calf injury that caused him to miss the Chiefs divisional round win over the Texans. Andy Reid was non-committal when asked whether their regular season sack leader would be able to return to practice on Friday.
Andy Reid wouldn’t commit to Chris Jones not practicing Friday (he didn’t practice Wednesday, won’t Thursday)… said practice or not, #Chiefs will do what’s best for the team.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) January 16, 2020
Jones doesn’t necessarily need to practice on Friday to be active on Sunday, but a third straight DNP would be a decidedly bad sign for his availability. If he can’t play, that’s a pretty big deal. Jones is one of the best interior pass rushers in the NFL with 9 sacks in just 13 games this year and 15.5 sacks last season. He made Nate Davis’ life miserable in their Week 10 meeting. He’s less of a plus as a run defender, but the Chiefs are obviously better with him than without him.
Two other Chiefs were also held out today as backup quarterback Matt Moore and running back LeSean McCoy were both absent due to illness for a second straight day. With Damien Williams back healthy, McCoy had been reduced to a backup role late in the season. It is unlikely that either of these guys will have a big impact healthy or not.
We will have to wait for the official report to see if Travis Kelce was limited again, but it is expected that he likely will be. He’s still expected to play this week.
The Titans took another step towards full team health today as cornerback Logan Ryan returned to practice after missing Wednesday with an illness. Backup inside linebacker and key special teamer David Long also turned in a full day’s work after being limited with a knee issue on Wednesday.
#Titans injury report for Thursday before they face the #Chiefs. Rashaan Evans (foot), Adam Humphries (ankle) once again limited. Logan Ryan (illness) was upgraded to a full participant. pic.twitter.com/6BuL26qmau— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) January 16, 2020
The limited participants included Adam Humphries, Jayon Brown, Adoree’ Jackson, Rashaan Evans, Jack Conklin, and Cody Hollister. Conklin was the only new addition to the report as he was added with a shoulder issue.
I’d be shocked if Jackson, Evans, and Conklin didn’t end up playing on Sunday. The two to keep an eye on for Tennessee are Humphries and Brown. Both missed last week’s game and have had back-to-back limited days on the practice field this week.
Humphries hasn’t played since Week 13 against the Colts, but his comments today certainly sounded like a guy who was expecting to play Sunday.
The Titans offense hasn’t missed many beats without Humphries thanks to the contributions of guys like Tajae Sharpe, Kalif Raymond, and Anthony Firkser, but there is no doubt that they’re a better team with Humphries than without him. He’s a key chain mover that is often Ryan Tannehill’s preferred option on crucial third downs.
Brown’s return would probably be even more impactful. Facing an offense that features speed all over the field, the Titans most athletic linebacker would be a big help when it comes to covering guys like Travis Kelce and Damien Williams.
It would be encouraging to see all the limited players get full practices in tomorrow.