Bad news for the Titans as offensive lineman Byron Bell has suffered a dislocated ankle that will sideline him for the entire 2016 season, coach Mike Mularkey tells reporters (Twitter link via Jim Wyatt of Titans Online).
Bell was expected to “be in the mix” for the right tackle job in 2016 prior to the draft, though the selection of Jack Conklin probably put him in line for a key spot in the offensive line rotation instead. Last year, Bell started eight games at right tackle, seven games at left guard, and then started the season finale at left tackle when Taylor Lewan was sidelined.
“Since I’ve been in the league, I have played four positions,’’ Bell said at the end of the season. “I am blessed to still be playing ball. I just want to be a guy who is dependable, and be a guy a team can count on.”
Bell, 27, spent his first four NFL seasons with the Panthers, starting 56 of the 62 regular season contests he played for the club since 2011. In 2014, the New Mexico product was handed the reins at left tackle for the first time, and the results were not pretty. Bell graded out as the second-worst offensive tackle in football out of 84 qualified players, with a -33.4 overall rating, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Only Jake Matthews of the Falcons (-36.8) finished lower. Last year, he restored his value by moving across the O-Line across a full 16 game season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.