When it rains, it pours. The Tennessee Titans continue to deal with mounting injuries. Head coach Mike Vrabel just delivered his Wednesday afternoon press conference ahead of Thursday’s primetime showdown against the San Francisco 49ers. Vrabel ruled OUT left tackle Taylor Lewan, left guard Rodger Saffold, linebacker David Long Jr. and defensive tackle Larrell Murchison.
The @Titans have ruled out these players vs @49ers:— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) December 22, 2021
LT Taylor Lewan
LB David Long
DL Larrell Murchison
G Rodger Saffold
WR Julio Jones was listed as a full participant on Wednesday, and he has no designation.
This could actually be worse. Several players who missed Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers will return to the lineup, including cornerback Jackrabbit Jenkins and defensive tackle Teair Tart.
Lewan and Saffold are the most noteworthy names that will unfortunately miss the game. It will be Saffold’s second consecutive contest on the sidelines. Saffold was actually placed on the team’s COVID-Reserve List. Aaron Brewer is once again expected to start in Saffold’s place. Brewer didn’t play a great game against the Steelers, and will take this as an opportunity to bounce back. Lewan is expected to be replaced by Kendall Lamm, who last started in Lewan’s place against the Los Angeles Rams. Lamm was quite good in that game. Here’s hoping for a repeat performance. Dillon Radunz and Corey Levin are also expected to be active as swing linemen. Daniel Munyer may receive a gameday callup.
In an unexpected but much-welcomed surprise, Julio Jones carries NO injury designation and WILL play on Thursday barring an unexpected setback. It’s a shocking development just three days after Jones was quickly ruled OUT against the Steelers midway through the game due to recurring hamstring issues. Here’s to hoping that Jones can actually make it through the game while providing Ryan Tannehill with some much-needed assistance in the passing game. We hope he has No. 11 running alongside him, too.
Long will miss his sixth straight game on Sunday despite never being placed on IR. Rashaan Evans and Zach Cunningham will start at inside linebacker, with Jayon Brown checking in on obvious passing downs. All three players were excellent against the Steelers.
Some combination of the returning Tart, Naquan Jones and Kyle Peko will replace Larrell Murchison.
The status of A.J. Brown and Chris Jackson remains in the air. Tennessee has until Thursday afternoon to activate either player.
As always, stay tuned to MCM for all roster updates with in-depth reactions and analysis.