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with some of their key players less than 100%. Tennessee have five starters have appeared on their official injury report this week- a list that includes Marcus Mariota http://www.thetitanslockerroom.com/authentic-ryan-succop-jersey , Corey Davis, Taylor Lewan, Derrick Morgan and Jack Conklin. No surprise with Conklin, as his return date remains unknown. Other names that weren’t surprising include rookies Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry. Both were full participants in Thursday’s practice which is a positive sign. It doesn’t guarantee they’ll see the field, but the odds are more likely.As we know, of the names listed above, Lewan remains the biggest question mark as he’s been resting and recovering. The Titans should feel confident in Kevin Pamphile and Dennis Kelly’s abilities to man the tackle positions for another week following a solid performance against Miami. If you don’t think the offensive line did well despite being without Lewan and Conklin, read some of Mike Herndon’s work here.A healthier Lewan in week three against the Jaguars may be better than an 80% or less Lewan facing a tough Texans defensive front, long-term. The risk of Lewan suffering another concussion against the Texans defense following a non-practice week cannot be overlooked. Key Texans LimitedHouston also has some key players dealing with injuries. The Texans have been taking it easy with Jadaveon Clowney, who is dealing with a back injury as well as his elbow. Clowney was among a few notable names listed in Houston’s injury report.Of the four receivers listed on the injury report, the obvious standouts are DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Fuller missed the opener against New England, whereas Hopkins appears to be dealing with a foot injury following his 78 yards on eight reception performance against the Patriots.Hopkins and Clowney’s limited participation doesn’t mean anything. Both are playing Sunday but their workload has been scaled back, similar to what the Titans are doing with Davis. Fuller, on the other hand, was initially expected to miss a few weeks. The Titans can afford to wait on seeing Fuller until the second meeting in November.Scheming to Mask PersonnelAt this point, the Titans will likely be without both starting tackles. It’s not the end of the world - although the world would be much better with Conklin and Lewan in the starting lineup.The “next man up” mentality is something HC Mike Vrabel’s staff have been reinforcing since their arrival. This helps provide confidence needed to fill in when the top guys aren’t available. Jonnu Smith, Kelly and Pamphile are the “next man up” at their respected positions. OC Matt LaFleur and Offensive Line Coach Kevin Carter have both likely been buried in film with a focus on finding what both Kelly and Pamphile did well or excelled at.Scheming to their strengths will be imperative. Quinton Spain easily had the best showing of any offensive linemen against the Dolphins. Spain and the interior will have to avoid becoming a liability and strive to replicate their performance. The tackles are capable of doing just enough. However, if the interior struggles, so with the tackles.Smith will be an important piece heading into Sunday. Being tasked with filling in for Delanie Walker seems daunting enough. The Titans do not need Smith to be a carbon copy of Walker - the team just needs him to showcase his own skills. Walker was clearly a better blocker, but the team won’t need Smith to do so at such a high level - at least they shouldn’t scheme for putting Smith in those situations.The Titans need Smith to do just enough blocking - and they will allow for Luke Stocker and Anthony Firkser to help out on that front. Stocker will be used a lot like New England’s James Develin was last week - tasked with the clean up blocks on edge defenders. Firkser drew comparisons to former Colts TE Dallas Clark in a piece written by The Athletic’s John Glennon. If Firkser can contribute in the same manner Clark did for Indy, it would be huge in helping accommodate for Walker’s lost production.Episode Two of the Derrick and Dion ShowDerrick Henry and Dion Lewis were both vital to the team’s offensive success. The box score won’t fully reflect that, but the tape doesn’t lie. Henry was a few shoestring tackles away from having MONSTER gains and had a 60 yarder called back. It was a good day on the ground, and a majority of the praise should go to the Titans offensive line.Expect the “hot hand” strategy to be the case every single week. Both backs could feast on the Texans defense and surely LaFleur will scheme accordingly. Lewis should be a match nightmare against the Texans linebackers in coverage. Henry should be a handful on the outside runs against Houston’s corners. Henry has already stated he is upset with how he played. How he responds against the Texans could translate to a big day on the ground for the pair of Titans ball-carriers. With Marcus Mariota not a lock to start, the running backs will be vital to the offense. NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Vrabel knows Houston coach Bill O’Brien pretty well after spending the past four seasons working as a Texans assistant, including 2017 as defensive coordinator. Now Vrabel has his own team in Tennessee, and the rookie is about to square off with his former boss looking for his first victory as an NFL head coach.Vrabel hopes his familiarity with Houston helps Sunday in the Titans‘ home opener if only by explaining some Texans skills and tendencies.He cautions what he knows will help only so much.“They’ve added some new stuff, and they’re doing new things, and they’ve got some new personnel,” Vrabel said. “Hopefully we can get prepared enough to go out and win a game on Sunday.”When Vrabel worked for O’Brien Quinton Spain Jersey , the Houston coach says they didn’t talk about whether the former NFL linebacker wanted to be a head coach. O’Brien says Vrabel was too busy coaching linebackers or coordinating the defense.“Smart guy, leader, very, hard worker, played in the league for a long time, knows the game,” O’Brien said. “He’s got all the qualities of a head coach.”Vrabel went winless in the preseason as he and the Titans focused on trying to get to the regular season healthy. After a 27-20 loss in Miami , the Titans put tight end Delanie Walker on injured reserve and two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan is recovering from a concussion. Quarterback Marcus Mariota also hurt the elbow on his throwing arm .Houston has dominated this AFC South rivalry lately, but the teams split the season series last year, each winning on its home field. Houston visited Nashville last December with quarterback Deshaun Watson healing up from a torn ACL, while Mariota left the Titans’ loss in Texas with an injured hamstring.Watson was back for the Texans’ opener, but Houston lost 27-20 at New England. The Texans are back on the road for a second straight week, and neither team can afford falling to 0-2, raising the stakes even higher.“We want to win very badly,” Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan said. “It’s a divisional game. You don’t want to start out 0-1 in the division. You want to get some momentum and go from there.”Some things to know about Texans and Titans:WATSON FACTORThe Titans faced Watson only once last season before he tore his right ACL , and once was enough . Watson led Houston to franchise records with most points (57), touchdowns (seven) and largest margin of victory (43). The Texans also put up 445 yards in total offense and scored on five of their first six possessions in Watson’s fourth NFL game.“We just went out there and had fun,” Watson said.AIR BATTLEThe Titans have bolstered their secondary by signing Logan Ryan and drafting Adoree Jackson in 2017, then they signed cornerback Malcolm Butler as a free agent this March. The group has been trying to live by the phrase “My Man Catches No Balls” this season, a mantra that will be tested strongly by the Texans’ potent wide receivers. All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins led the NFL with 13 touchdown receptions last season, and now Will Fuller V is expected to be available after dealing with a hamstring injury.REPLACING WALKERThe three-time Pro Bowler came into this season with the most catches by a tight end in the NFL since the start of the 2013 season, and he has been Mariota’s favorite target the past three years. Now the Titans will have to see if second-year tight end Jonnu Smith, veteran Luke Stocker and likely Anthony Firkser, who played at Harvard, can help catch the balls Mariota would have thrown to Walker.STRONG AT SAFETYTyrann Mathieu made his Houston debut last week by becoming the first Texan with an interception and fumble recovery in the same game since Week 13 of the 2012 season. He also had five tackles after signing with the Texans this offseason. The Titans counter with All-Pro Kevin Byard, who led the NFL with 10 total takeaways last season and tied for the league lead with eight interceptions.OFFENSIVE LINE SHUFFLEThe Texans placed right tackle Seantrel Henderson on injured reserve , and rookie Martinas Rankin is expected to start at either left or right tackle. The Titans are waiting to see if Lewan clears the concussion protocol, with Kevin Pamphile his likely replacement, and Dennis Kelly at right tackle until Jack Conklin returns from the left ACL torn in January.
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