Already missing two All-Pros, the Titans will encounter a steeper uphill battle Sunday against the Patriots. Tennessee ruled out A.J. Brown on Friday.
Having suffered a chest injury, Brown did not practice all week. While the talented third-year wide receiver has made a habit of missing practice, the Titans will be cautious with him. Tennessee has a Week 13 bye, giving Brown two weeks of recovery time.
The offense the Titans deploy in Week 12 will not look especially similar to the one it hopes to trot out come January. Tennessee already has Derrick Henry and Julio Jones on IR. The team also lost fill-in wideout Marcus Johnson for the season last week. The team is hopeful Henry can return for the playoffs, and Jones — amid another hamstring issue — will presumably give it another go late in the regular season. Jones will not be eligible to return from IR until Week 16. For now, however, Ryan Tannehill will face a difficult assignment.
Brown is well on his way to a third 1,000-yard season, leading the Titans with 615 through the air. The big-bodied target has three touchdowns this year. Tennessee added Golden Tate to its practice squad this week, and it would surprise if the 11-year veteran is not part of the team’s makeshift solution Sunday. The Patriots lead the NFL in scoring defense.