Buck Reising, Tennessee Titans reporter and host of Tackling Music City, provides updates on the health of the team’s receiving corps.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Win/loss results for the Tennessee Titans (5-6) have been sub-optimal in the past two weeks but the health of the team’s receiving corps looks to be trending up.
2017 third-round pick Taywan Taylor has been sidelined for three consecutive games this season after suffering a left foot injury in the 28-14 victory over the Dallas Cowboys (6-5) on Monday Night Football. In Taylor’s stead, undrafted rookie free agent Cameron Batson has played in Tennessee’s three wide receiver sets but has accumulated only six catches for 75 yards since Week 9. Taylor was a late scratch Saturday 11/24 before the team’s second Monday Night appearance of the season against the Houston Texans (8-3) after being limited all week leading in and again in Wednesday’s walk through at St. Thomas Sports Park.
His coach, however, thinks the young wide out is close to a return.
“I will say that we will look to try to get Taywan (Taylor) back,” coach Mike Vrabel said in his Tuesday press conference while addressing various injuries to players on the team. “That may help us as we work through practice this week. We’ll see where he’s at.”
Taylor’s production, when healthy, follows the same trends as this Titans passing game in 2018, making it difficult to determine just how much more he will give them when he does make it off of the injury report. With the Western Kentucky product on the field for the first eight games of this season, including the game in Dallas where he caught two calls for 24 yards and the injury occurred, Tennessee averaged 178.25 net passing yards. Without Taylor, the offense nets an average of 223.66 yards through the air.
With all things 2018 Titans, mitigating circumstances affect those totals. Injuries to quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert called for unconventional game plans early on and the offense has struggled to find any kind of consistency throughout the course of the year. But what offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur’s attack lacks is the speed that’s required to shift opposing secondaries’ coverages that Taylor provides.
“I feel a lot better,” said Taylor. “Like I said, it’s been a process, something that I’ve been trying to get used to. Haven’t been used to being out and missing games. So, it’s been good being with the trainer Todd (Toriscelli). He’s been working with me and doing some great stuff so definitely feel a lot more comfortable with my motion and range and things like that.”
Any added depth at receiver would be a welcome for Vrabel and his team with only four dressed out at the position on game days in Taylor’s absence.