9-7, 2nd AFC South
Jack Conklin - Jack Conklin suffered an ACL tear last season, and is expected to return this season, but also not until a few weeks within. Conklin’s readiness still is a worrisome for a team that is centered around the run. If Conklin can’t return to his usual self, this does hurt the line a bit. Even though this offensive line is solid, any time a major starter goes down it will be a downgrade.
Marcus Mariota - 2017 was an injury plagued year for Marcus Mariota, and things are already looking like more of the same here in 2018. Mariota is dealing with an elbow issue with his throwing arm, and that is going to be a concern. Mariota is going up against some tough defenses to start the year, and if he isn’t 100% he might as well just sit them out. This leaves Blaine Gabbert, which is a downgrade for the whole offense.
Delanie Walker - Delanie Walker suffered an ugly ankle injury, where he had ligament damage, and a dislocated ankle. Walker is 34 years old, and it would surprise us to seem him return to a full-time role ever again. This is disappointing for a guy who has played out a successful career. Walker is also going to be missed within the offense, especially as Marcus Mariota’s safety blanket. Jonnu Smith is going to be the fill-in, and was their tight end in the waitings anyway. Now it has happened sooner than expected.
Marcus Mariota is new to the franchise, but suffered a broken fibula in 2016, he also has sprained his MCL twice in the same season, and has dealt with some hamstring problems. He has only been in the league a few seasons, but the term injury prone is going to follow him around until he can bring some consistency to the table. Bernard Pollard was a fun defensive player to watch, but the ruptured Achilles tendon ended his season in 2015, and he never rebounded to the player he used to be. This is a tough injury to come back from, especially pushing off on the defensive side. Pollard was a dirty player, and some karma might have occurred in front of our eyes. Marc Mariani was a seventh round pick and he suffered a broken leg before his career in the regular season could get started. It was an unfortunate series of events for him, and the Titans released him shortly after. The Titans have lost some big names over the last few seasons, and more recently Delanie Walker’s career could have just ended given his age. The tragic career of Steve McNair is one of the more notable names, and of course his life was cut short, and you dive into his career which was filled with injuries. McNair has opened up links again to life after the game and how injuries have such a big effect on players.