NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans desperately need Marcus Mariota healthy.

Now they have to do it in four games at the start of the season minus his best edge protector. 

With Taylor Lewan revealing he'll be suspended for the first four games of the season for a PED violation, the Titans have to scramble. Dennis Kelly can play left tackle or the Titans could move Rodger Saffold there from guard, but it will set off a domino effect that is less than ideal in every respect.

LewanHands

Lewan put forth evidence in the form of a lie detector test that he did not knowingly take the forbidden substance, osterine. [Unlocked]

He will appeal the suspension, but it's likely to be hopeless. Adam Schefter said the A sample tested positive and if the B sample matches the suspension will become official. But Lewan didn't announce this and begin the process of the PR hit if he thinks there is any reasonable chance of a negative on sample B.

Here is what I have learned:

  • Lewan works with a nutritionist who the Titans know about and who has dug deeply into the World Anti Doping Association (WADA). Every supplement he's taken has nothing on the banned WADA list on the label.
  • One NFL player proved a similar supplement was contaminated and the NFL still suspended him because players are responsible regardless.

Among the pass rushers the Titans will face without Lewan: Miles Garrett and Olivier Vernon of the Browns; Justin Houston, Jabaal Sheard, Kemoko Turay of the Colts; Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, Josh Allen of the Jaguars; Vic Beasley, Tak McKinley, Adrian Clayborn of the Falcons.

The help the line will need without Lewan to protect Mariota takes away from the people who can lead Derrick Henry in the run game or from the people who can run routes for the quarterback, starting off a terribly important offensive season with all sorts of questions.

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