The Tennessee Titans released an updated depth chart ahead of Sunday’s regular-season opener with the New Orleans Saints. In all honesty, there aren’t many interesting talking points. By far the most interesting reveal is Dillon Radunz’s positioning.
Radunz is listed as the second-team right tackle (behind Chris Hubbard) and right guard (behind Daniel Brunskill). Radunz was a surprise inclusion on the 53-man roster despite suffering a season-ending torn ACL approximately seven months ago. Radunz healed from his knee injury in roughly six months, which is a really quick turnaround time given the severity.
Tennessee’s decision to avoid placing Radunz on the PUP or IR indicates they believe he’ll be ready to contribute within the first four weeks, maybe even immediately. Right tackle is especially a position to watch out for. Nicholas Petit-Frere is suspended for six games. Head coach Mike Vrabel has routinely said that Hubbard must continue working to prove he’s the starter. Hubbard’s performances were shaky at best throughout training camp and the preseason.
The Titans’ initial 53-man roster had 10 offensive linemen, but it’s now down to nine. The team released veteran swing tackle Justin Murray, who they quickly re-signed to the practice squad. Murray was once viewed as Hubbard’s main competitor at right tackle. Releasing him from the 53-man roster is another vote of confidence for Radunz.
Rookie sixth-rounder Jaelyn Duncan is listed as the second-team left tackle behind Andre Dillard. The Titans don’t have another backup tackle on the roster. Do we honestly believe that an inexperienced Duncan would enter the game if Dillard got hurt? It would almost certainly be Radunz. Elevating Murray to the game-day roster as a standard elevation from the practice squad is another option.
Radunz was drafted to be Tennessee’s right tackle. It hasn’t worked out that way, with Radunz battling performance inconsistencies, injury, and doubt over his best positional fit. It would be wild if Radunz finally developed into Tennessee’s starting right tackle when we least expected it.