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Treylon Burks' Injury Could Be A Massive Issue For The Titans

Treylon BurksUpdate, 5:39 pm CT: Ian Rapoport reports an MRI revealed Trelon Burks suffered an LCL sprain and should only miss a few weeks. 

EAGAN, Minn. – All the hope and good feelings surrounding the Titans took a major dent here Wednesday afternoon when Treylon Burks stretched to pull in a deep pass down the middle from Ryan Tannehill down the middle of a Vikings’ practice field. 

He stumbled after he collected the pass over Akayleb Evans, staggered for four or five strides, went to the ground, rolled over sideways, bounced up, took a step and started limping.

Then: two steps, a stop, a hop, a lean on the nearest teammate, a pause, another step and a bend to put the ball down, bending at his waist again.

Trainers collected him beside a tent that covers a video station and looked hard at his left knee/calf with him on the ground on his back. Initially, they waved off a cart, but only minutes later one came to him and he got up with help.

Ryan Tannehill was one of the people who assisted the receiver's short walk to the cart when he put no weight on the leg. DeAndre Hopkins and Derrick Henry both offered words of encouragement. [Unlocked]

Then Burks was driven off, holding the top of his calf behind the knee.

Mike Vrabel had spoken before practice and despite requests through public relations, didn’t change plans and speak again after.

The Titans’ offense looks to be in good shape at full strength – though it didn’t have an effective practice day against Minnesota.

Hopkins and Burks are the two primary receivers with Kyle Philips in the slot, Chig Okonkwo as a threatening pass-catching tight end and rookie Tyjae Spears is a new pass-game element from the running back spot.

But if Burks is out of the equation for an extended period, the receiver rotation changes.

Chris Moore would be the second outside receiver, with Nick Westbrook-Ikhine in line to be the third outside guy and the backup to Philips inside. And while the Titans really like Moore, there is a significant drop off in threat level from Burks to him.

The Titans lack depth virtually everywhere on the roster, and receiver is no exception.

Burks’ teammates expressed concern.

“I just went over and checked on him,” Tannehill said. “You hate seeing that. We’ll find out more information. And see what’s really going on. But hopefully, he’s going to be all right. He seemed obviously upset and understandably so. Thoughts and prayers are with him right now and hopefully it’s not too bad.”

“That’s football,” Hopkins said. “I’m sure he’s going to do what he’s got to do to come back and be ready.”

Health has been one of the Titans’ primary issues for the last two seasons. 

They won the AFC’s No. 1 seed in 2021 despite using a record 91 players due to injury, and Vrabel won coach of the year mainly because of his ability to plug in replacements and continue to lead his team to victories. Last year the injuries continued and the team used 86 players.

Missing players were a big part of a seven-game losing streak to end the season and keep the team out of the postseason, with Tannehill missing five games, four of them losses, and Jeffery Simmons among key people who missed time hurt and who couldn’t play to their regular levels upon return from injury.

These Titans have been pretty healthy since training camp began on July 26. 

Vrabel has the team practicing two days and has reduced the third day, previously a jog-through, to a walk-through. Veterans who’ve taken a lot of time off in the past, like Derrick Henry and Denico Autry, have participated far more. Henry said his rationale is he needs to be on the field more to learn the team’s new offense under Tim Kelly.

While there have been some minor injuries, there have been no extended injury absences. Running backs Jonathan Kuharsky megaphoneWard and Hassan Haskins have both been out since Saturday’s preseason opener at Chicago.

It’s unclear when we will learn more about Burks’ situation.

The Titans practice here again Thursday before a Saturday evening game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The offense struggled until it got into 2:00 drill situations late in practice. The strong winds were a big factor.

“We didn't come out with the right intensity early on,” Tannehill said. “They were giving us a bunch of looks that we haven’t seen going against our team and didn’t really scout. You’re not preparing for a game coming out here like you do in the regular season. So a bunch of different looks we haven’t seen before but it’s great work.”

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