Titans Week: Injuries pile up as Titans gear up to battle NY Jets

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Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- The Tennessee Titans (2-1) head to the big city to take on the New York Jets (0-3) on Sunday. And while the Titans come in as the favorite, it could be closer than anticipated with injuries plaguing the Two-Tone Blue.

SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF JULIO JONES:

Titans wide receiver Julio Jones did not play late in the game against the Colts last Sunday, but there was confusion on what happened. After the game head coach Mike Vrabel said the decision was based on maintenance, but on Monday he said Jones was experiencing tightness. It wasn’t until Wednesday’s injury report came out that the mystery was solved, Jones is dealing with a hamstring issue. He did not practice during the week and Vrabel would get into detail about the injury.

“You can asked me anything you want. He wasn’t able to practice and we labeled him out. We designated him out for the week,” said Vrabel.

SPECIAL TEAMS CHANGES:

While the Titans have found their kicker (for now), there will be a new face on special teams this weekend, after it was revealed that Pro-Bowl punter Brett Kern is dealing with a groin issue. The team signed Johnny Townsend to the active roster. Vrabel said he feels good about Townsend coming in and getting the job done.

“Very comfortable. As comfortable as we always are. Sign a guy, he comes in, he punts, we hold, we snap to him, they work their process. We feel very comfortable that Johnny will do the job that we need him to do on Sunday,” said Vrabel.

DEPENDING ON DERRICK:

With the offense missing some star players this week, running back Derrick Henry is prepared to put the team on his back. The NFL’s leading rushing starts the season with a heavy workload, not only running the rock, but helping in the receiving game as well.

“I give Ryan (Tannehill) a little nudge on the shoulder. If he doesn’t find anybody downfield, I am there to gain yards and try to make a play out of something. Just working on it every day, trying to improve, trying to get better, being available, taking advantage of opportunities when I get the opportunity to catch the ball and get up field to make a play,” said Henry.

CREATING TURNOVERS:

While the Titans offense will focus on fixing its turnover issue, the defense will work on creating turnovers. Tennessee has just one this season, courtesy of Kevin Byard, but this group expects more. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect. The Jets offense is lead by rookie quarterback in Zach Wilson, who has shown to be turnover-prone, throwing seven interceptions in the last three games.

Vrabel said, “I mean, it’s time… We practice them as much as anybody, and we just have to go get our hands on a football. We got to punch it out, strip it out, rake it out, hammer it out. Whatever we have to do — we got to get the ball out, we got to intercept it, we got to tip it at the line of scrimmage and catch it and turn over.”

WHO’S IN, WHO’S OUT:

The Titans’ injury report going into Sunday’s game is rather long. Wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones are OUT, along with (OLB) Bud Dupree, (CB) Caleb Farley, (P) Brent Kern, and (DT) Larrell Murchison.

The Titans face the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, kickoff set for Noon (CT).

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