Titans can rest up a bit after busy stretch
Nashville, Tenn. — Mike Vrabel asked his Tennessee Titans to play physical in their third game in 11 days. With Derrick Henry leading the way with a handful of rushing records, they did just that with a big victory to stay in the AFC playoff chase.
Now they get a weekend to rest before their final trip of the season, then another short week.
“They’ve done everything we asked them to do,” Vrabel said Friday on a conference call.
“So, it’ll be good to get some time off, get some guys healed up. I have to do a good job of managing the schedule, and still getting us ready for the Giants, but trying to get everybody back that we could possibly get back to help us try to win another game.”
Vrabel didn’t have injury updates for any of the Titans hurt in Thursday night’s 30-9 rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
After that call with reporters, ESPN.com reported tight end Jonnu Smith, hurt on Henry’s NFL record-tying 99-yard touchdown run, will miss the rest of the season with an injured knee. NFL Network reported right tackle Jack Conklin will miss a few weeks with his own injured knee.
Losing Smith would hurt the most.
The Titans already lost threetime Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker in the season opener, while veteran Dennis Kelly is in line to replace Conklin after coming off the bench Thursday night.
Kelly has started nine games for the Titans over the past three seasons.
But the Titans are coming off the franchise’s best rushing performance in nearly a decade with Henry turning in 238 yards on just 17 carries for the best output in the NFL this season.
Henry not only tied Tony Dorsett’s 99-yard touchdown run for the longest in NFL history, he also took the franchise rushing mark from Chris Johnson — set against the Jaguars on Nov. 1, 2009.
The Titans ran for 305 yards in that game and finished with 264 yards on Thursday night. That topped their previous best this season by 100 yards and helped Tennessee improve to 5-1 at home.
The Bears removed quarterback Mitchell Trubisky from their injury list, clearing the way for a start Sunday night against the Rams.
... Jets linebacker Darron Lee has been suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Lee will sit out the final four games.
Titans running back Derrick Henry, left, runs past Jaguars outside linebacker Leon Jacobs for a touchdown during Thursday’s victory.