The Tennessee Titans activated wide receiver A.J. Brown ahead of Thursday’s primetime showdown against the surging San Francisco 49ers.
The @Titans have activated WR A.J. Brown and DB Chris Jackson from Injured Reserve ahead of tonight’s game vs the @49ers.— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) December 23, 2021
READ https://t.co/blzLEbXqfr pic.twitter.com/06V9vwkWse
Brown was Designated to Return from Injured Reserve earlier this week, prompting a 21-day window that allowed him to practice with the team without counting towards the 53-man roster. All signs pointed to Brown getting activated prior to Thursday’s game, and the Titans have now made that official. Brown has appeared in 10 games for the Titans this season, registering 46 receptions for 615 yards and three touchdowns. His return is a major boost for the league’s most underwhelming group of pass catchers.
In unfortunate news, swing tackle Kendall Lamm has tested positive for COVID, per his Instagram page. We wish Lamm a speedy recovery. He was slated to start at left tackle on Thursday in place of the injured Taylor Lewan. The situation raises an alarm for Tennessee, who are now incredibly shorthanded at the tackle position. The fallout will be interesting. You would think that rookie second-round pick Dillon Radunz should earn his first career start, either in place of Lewan/Lamm at left tackle or at right tackle with David Quessenberry kicking over to the left side. Tennessee has however done everything within their power to keep Radunz on the sidelines so far, and they did make tackle Christian DiLauro a standard elevation for tonight’s game. He’ll revert back to the practice squad at the conclusion. DiLauro was with the team in preseason and has since been on the practice squad. He played left tackle in August. Corey Levin and Daniel Munyer will also be on the gameday roster, but both players are interior offensive linemen. Sigh.
Additionally, cornerback Chris Jackson was also activated. Jackson was Designated to Return from Injured Reserve on the same day that Brown was, heavily indicating he too was set to return. The Titans have also made that official. Jackson was playing an excellent brand of football before landing on IR with a foot injury and missing the three previous games. It will be interesting to monitor how he factors back into the rotation.
There are several moving pieces here. Fellow cornerback Jackrabbit Jenkins is also returning on Thursday. Buster Skrine and Greg Mabin have been playing great on the boundary. Rookie slot cornerback Elijah Molden recently landed on the team’s Covid-Reserve List and is OUT for Thursday, which means the Titans need to replace him in the starting lineup. If we had to venture a guess, Kristian Fulton and Jenkins will start on the outside with Skrine and Jackson seeing snaps at the nickel. Skrine has been playing outside for Tennessee, but has played in the slot throughout his career. With Jackson back but likely unable to handle a heavy workload, splitting time with Skrine inside makes sense.
Last but not least, defensive lineman Kevin Strong is another COVID elevation for tonight’s game. He’s appeared in several games lately, and will help replace the injured Larrell Murchison on the defensive line.
As always, stay tuned to MCM for all roster updates with in-depth reactions and analysis.