The Tennessee Titans have been dealing with injuries since before the season began.
But after Monday night's victory, the injury situation may have reached critical mass – especially at the cornerback position.
Before Monday's win over Buffalo, the Titans placed cornerback Kristian Fulton on injured reserve with a hamstring injury that will keep him on the shelf at least two more weeks.
Then, his replacement, rookie Caleb Farley making his first NFL start, suffered a left knee injury. The Titans placed Farley and receiver Cam Batson both on injured reserve with knee injuries. While Coach Mike Vrabel didn't confirm reports of a torn ACL, it was evident from his answer about Farley that his rookie season is over. Farley opted out last year in college at Virginia Tech, and has also had a torn ACL before, as well as two back procedures.
“I know and I am very aware, as we all are, of Caleb’s history. He was very emotional,” Vrabel said. “I told him that rest assured we were going to take care of him physically and mentally. I think that is the biggest thing probably, is when you are dealing with some of these injuries is the mental approach that you take about willing to talk to people and be willing to let people help you that have either been there or that can help you through. It is going to be a long process and I am confident that he will be back better and strong, but it is unfortunate.”
The next man in for Farley, second-year pro Chris Jackson, also did not finish the game due to a foot injury. His status for Sunday against Kansas City likely won't be known till later in the week. Breon Borders finished up for the Titans.
As for what to do for depth at the position, the Titans have Chris Jones and Briean Boddy-Calhoun on the practice squad.
“Chris has been with us. He is certainly someone we will look at. Boddy has been with us for a while, working and practicing. I am confident if those guys get an opportunity, they will do everything they can to take advantage of it,” Vrabel said.
They also will probably work out cornerbacks this week with the possibility of signing one off the street. Vrabel said weighing the experience of an available vet versus a practice squad player who knows the system is what the Titans will have to determine when a move is made.
“That is the biggest thing, is what have they been doing? How much work have they been putting in? Where are they at physically? Also, where are they at mentally as far as picking up the scheme and how much work that requires in just a short amount of time. We are looking at a lot of those things and working our way through them,” he said.
Farley wasn't the only Titan to suffer a knee injury. Receiver and return man Batson is also likely out for an extended period of time with a knee injury.
“I don’t like to see any of our players get injured. I care a lot about them all. It is unfortunate when we lose any of them,” Vrabel said when asked about Batson. “We understand the risk associated with this game and playing it at the level and speed in which they do. All those guys that got hurt last night or continue to get hurt, we will take care of them and do everything we can to get them back and take care of them physically and mentally.”
There was a bit of good news as Taylor Lewan, who was carted off the field on a stretcher and back board was up and moving around, even tweeting today that he was “alright.”
Vrabel said Lewan will be in the concussion protocol this week.
“I saw Taylor this morning. I would say all signs lead to him being in the concussion protocol. I would say he is doing as well as he could be, but I saw him this morning,” he said.
The Titans had Kendall Lamm fill in when Lewan went out. Ty Sambrailo abruptly retired last week after dealing with a foot injury.
Also, receiver Julio Jones exited the game in the fourth quarter with a recurrence of his hamstring issues. Vrabel said the Titans would take Jones' situation “day by day.”
The Titans also waived punter Johnny Townsend, meaning Brett Kern will return from the Covid-19 list.
Also, rookie safety Brady Breeze was added to the active roster.