Ten­nessee Ti­tans

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - AFC SOUTH - Con­tribut­ing: WTLV-Jack­sonville

After two pre­sea­son games, is it silly to worry about the run­ning game? Prob­a­bly.

RB DeMarco Murray has been side­lined be­cause of a ham­string injury for most of train­ing camp. He was ex­pected to make his pre­sea­son de­but in the 34-27 vic­tory against the Carolina Pan­thers, but head coach Mike Mu

larkey wanted to give Murray more time to re­cover. In his ab­sence, backup RB

Der­rick Henry strug­gled to gen­er­ate much mo­men­tum against the Pan­thers. Through two games, Henry has rushed for 65 yards on 24 car­ries, high­lighted by TD runs of 17 yards and 1 yard.

Con­sid­er­ing Ten­nessee’s ded­i­ca­tion to the run­ning game was key to their 2016 turn­around, mak­ing pre­sea­son tweaks ahead of Week 1 is crit­i­cal.

Rookie watch: WR Corey Davis, the fifth over­all pick, re­mains side­lined with a ham­string injury that has been slower to heal than the team orig­i­nally ex­pected. Davis is un­likely to play in the third pre­sea­son game against the Chicago Bears, Mu­larkey said. … In Davis’ ab­sence, sev­eral rook­ies have taken ad­van­tage of their op­por­tu­ni­ties in the spot­light. TE Jonnu Smith led the Ti­tans with five catches for 47 yards, and WR Tay­wan Tay-lor made three catches for 41 yards, in­clud­ing one 20-yard pass from QB Mar­cus Mar­i­ota. … CB

Adoree’ Jack­son, the 18th over­all pick, re­turned a punt more than 60 yards for a touch­down that was called back but flashed shifti­ness and break­away speed.

Note­wor­thy: After be­ing held to three points in their pre­sea­son opener against the New York Jets, the Ti­tans hung 34 points on the Pan­thers, al­le­vi­at­ing con­cerns in Nashville. Mar­i­ota was 6-for-8 for 61 yards with one touch­down pass vs. the Pan­thers.

AN­DREW NELLES, THE (NASHVILLE) TENNESSEAN

Ti­tans run­ning back Der­rick Henry, cen­ter, had 16 car­ries for 36 yards against the Pan­thers on Aug. 19. Through two pre­sea­son games, he has 24 car­ries for 65 yards and two TDs.

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