How are we feeling this morning, Titans fans? Yesterday’s win over the Texans may have induced heart palpitations, but it felt great to see this team finally get over the hump and win the division for the first time since 2008.
There’s no time to celebrate, though. It’s a quick turnaround as the Titans take on the familiar Ravens this Sunday in Nashville at 12:00 pm CST.
The Ravens have been rolling on all cylinders as of late. This isn’t the same team the Titans beat a few weeks ago. They’ve found their mojo on offense since then. The Titans will have to play good, clean football to win this game.
Being at full strength would certainly help. With that said, let’s take a look at four Titans players that are in danger of missing the game.
First on our list is one of the most important players on the offense, Rodger Saffold. Saffold left the game yesterday with an ankle injury and didn’t return.
He was replaced at left guard by undrafted free agent Aaron Brewer. Brewer has actually looked pretty good in the limited action we’ve seen him in, but he isn’t Saffold. Few guards in the NFL are. We have no idea how severe of an injury Saffold may have suffered. On the bright side, Saffold has clearly been playing through injuries all season long. He’s left several games. He’s clearly been hobbled by something for most of the year. He’s as tough as they come. Unless he suffered a serious multi-week injury, I’d bet on Saffold being out there Sunday.
Second on our list is starting kicker Stephen Gostkowski. Gostkowski was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on December 28th.
Titans place Stephen Gostkowski on Reserve/COVID-19 List— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) December 28, 2020
Details » https://t.co/Yc3VbgS9yF
There’s plenty of time between then and this Ravens game for Gostkowski to clear the protocols and return to the lineup. It was reported by A to Z Sports that Gostkowski actually tested positive for Covid-19. The fact that he missed yesterday’s game would suggest that report is accurate. So while Gostkowski should technically be ready to play in the playoffs based on timetables, we don’t actually know what his condition is like. Is he asymptomatic and resting at home, or is he feeling unwell? We’ve seen players struggle to gain their conditioning back after a battle with the virus. If Gostkowski can’t go, it’ll be Sam Sloman again, the unlikeliest hero of unlikely heroes. As great of a moment as that was for Sloman, I’d feel a lot better about having a one hundred percent healthy Gostkowski in the lineup instead.
Next on our list is pass rusher Derick Roberson, who missed yesterday’s game with a hamstring injury.
Derick Roberson (hamstring) missed practice for the third straight day on Friday and he's been ruled out for Sunday.— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) January 1, 2021
Friday's Quick Hits » https://t.co/C28ftMWhGU
Look, this pass rush is virtually nonexistent. We know that. It’s bad. But Roberson is a better option than Wyatt Ray and Brooks Reed, the two players that have been playing more reps in his absence. Reed actually recorded a pretty nice sack yesterday, but he also had some ugly reps. The defense is better with Roberson in the lineup than it is without him.
Last on our list is defensive tackle Teair Tart, who was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list yesterday morning.
#Titans suffer a pre-game loss, as DL Teair Tart is placed on COVID-19 reserve list.— John Glennon (@glennonsports) January 3, 2021
His availability for Sunday purely depends on whether or not he tested positive for the virus. If he did, he’s already OUT for Sunday’s game. If he was simply deemed a close contact to someone else that tested positive, and he continues to test negative, he should be available. Tart has played some good football this season. The defensive line is better with Tart in the lineup. Larrell Murchison and Matt Dickerson would play in his absence.
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