Injuries and inconsistencies have been holding the 2020 edition of the Tennessee Titans back from achieving their true potential. In the NFL, injuries are going to happen, but what the Titans are currently dealing with on the left side of the offensive line has the possibility to turn into the team’s Achilles heel.
Taylor Lewan was the first blow to what most people considered to be a mid- to upper-tier offensive line for the Titans. Tennessee lost its three-time Pro Bowl starting left tackle in Lewan to a torn ACL in the team’s Week Six win over the Houston Texans.
Lewan’s replacement came in the form of Ty Sambrailo. After having played a total of five seasons in the NFL, spending time with the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons, Sambrailo was signed as a free agent in the offseason to play behind Lewan.
Despite giving up a strip sack to J.J. Watt on one of his first plays on offense this season, Sambrailo had really settled in and was doing a fine job filling in for Lewan. But when it rains, it pours. Sambrailo exited Sunday’s win in Baltimore with an undisclosed injury and it has since been reported that the team is expecting him to miss the remainder of the season.
— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) November 23, 2020
Next Man Up
David Quessenberry was the next man up and performed well in relief duty against a Ravens pass rush that was having success on Sambrailo’s side, mostly with pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
It remains to be seen how Head Coach Mike Vrabel desires to handle such a problematic depth ordeal at one of the most important positions on the offensive line, but he has a few options on the team as the Titans’ roster is currently constructed.
Behind Quessenberry, there doesn’t appear to be many viable options at the moment. First-round draft pick Isaiah Wilson lurks in the shadows after having been activated, purely out of desperate necessity, for his first NFL game over the weekend. It is clear that Vrabel and the Titans have not exactly been pleased with their rookie right tackle’s progression, but at 6’6” and 350 pounds one can only imagine what he would look like in live NFL action.
Vrabel on competition at LT potentially without Ty Sambrailo: We just talked to Isaiah (Wilson) about stringing days together. Positive days. #Titans
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) November 23, 2020
A first round draft pick contributing to his team? What a novel concept that is.
If Wilson is to take the field eventually, the most practical adjustment would be to kick Dennis Kelly to left tackle and place the panda on the right side of the line.
The Titans have two tackles on the practice squad, neither of whom has taken an NFL snap, in Paul Adams and Brandon Kemp.
The final option the team has is to look outside for help in blocking Ryan Tannehill’s blind side. On Monday, it was reported that the Titans brought in nine-year veteran Marshall Newhouse for a tryout.
— John Glennon (@glennonsports) November 23, 2020
Newhouse has played every position on the offensive line aside from center and might be just what the doctor ordered to help patch up this injury-ridden unit.
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images