Injuries continue to bite the Titans on the defensive side of the ball. This week, the team will play without three starters as head coach Mike Vrabel has ruled out safety Amani Hooker, edge rusher Bud Dupree, and linebacker Zach Cunningham, according to Turron Davenport of ESPN.
The Titans already have six players on injured reserve from the defense alone, as well as five more from the offense. Vrabel also announced that the team will sit linebackers Olasunkanmi Adeniyi and Joseph Jones, as well. This all in addition to the recent loss of rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks to IR.
Tennessee has elevated practice squad linebacker Joe Schobert and wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick to make up for the loss of Cunningham and Burks, respectively. Dupree and Hooker’s absences will likely mean more playing time for second-year linebacker Rashad Weaver and backup safeties Joshua Kalu and Ugo Amadi. Amadi has some starting experience from his time with the Seahawks.
Here are a few other injury updates from around the AFC, starting with a division rival of the Titans:
- Last year’s first-round draft pick for the Colts, pass rusher Kwity Paye, was carted off the field during this Thursday’s win over the Broncos. Indianapolis believes Paye suffered a high ankle sprain based off of the initial evaluations, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Paye was expected to undergo an MRI yesterday to determine the severity of the injury and detail a timeline for his return, but no word has been reported as of yet. In Paye’s absence, and with backup defensive end Tyquan Lewis also dealing with injuries, the Colts will have to rely on backups Ifeadi Odenigbo, Dayo Odeyingbo, and Ben Banogu.
- Pittsburgh faces a defensive challenge this week as they continue to deal with injuries in the secondary. Starting safety Terrell Edmunds has been ruled out in Buffalo this week due to a concussion, according to Rapoport. Due to injuries and a suspension, the Steelers will have to rely on backups Miles Killebrew, Tre Norwood, and Elijah Riley.
- The Bills will also be struggling with safety injuries as Jordan Poyer is set to miss the team’s matchup with the Steelers this week, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. With Micah Hyde on injured reserve, Buffalo will rely on Damar Hamlin, who started in Hyde’s absence last week, and Jaquan Johnson, a special teams ace whom the Bills have often trusted to sub in on defense.