For Titans Receiver/Punt Returner Mason Kinsey, It Feels Like Now Or Never

Mason KinseyNASHVILLE, Tenn. – It sure feels like it’s now or never for Mason Kinsey.

The receiver has spent the last two years on the Titans' practice squad, elevated for one game in 2021 and two in 2022.

He’s a steady practice player, in the right spot, usually making catches for whoever is throwing him the ball. Now Kyle Philips is down and may be out for as much as six weeks, and Kinsey is a slot guy in a similar mold. 

“I try not to count numbers or count guys who are going to be here and who’s not,” Kinsey said. “I don’t make the decisions on who makes the 53. All I can do is focus on putting my best foot forward, and just continuing to grow trust with the personnel and the coaches for when the time comes, if I have an opportunity to play you know I am ready and it’s also of course something I do want.

“It’s an exciting opportunity, it’s an opportunity to get some more reps, but also I’m praying for my boys Kyle and Treylon (Burks) and hoping for a speedy recovery for those guys.”

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Titans WR Kyle Philips Suffered MCL Injury In Minnesota

Kyle PhilipsNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Kyle Philips suffered an MCL injury as he was taken down on a first-quarter punt return in Minnesota and the timetable for his return is in the range of six weeks.

His injury came just four days after Treylon Burks suffered what Ian Rapoport said is an LCL sprain in a joint practice with the Vikings. Outside medical people have estimated a four-to six-week recovery timetable for him.

The injuries mean the Titans very likely play at least their Sept. 10 opening-day game in New Orleans without two of their top three receivers. [Unlocked]

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PK TV: You Brought Your Best Titans Questions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Two preseason games down, one to go and it won't come after another set of joint practice after New England canceled its early trip to Music City.

It was a good time to assess the state of the Titans and to dig into everything that's on your mind.

So we had a long discussion about where Malik Willis is at this stage of his development, what the Titans do while Treylon Burks and Kyle Philips are out, how the depth at defensive back is sorting itself out, how Jack Gibbens looks like the weak link in the starting 22, what the future holds for Caleb Farley and Dillon Radunz and a good deal more while dealing with a quick power outage at the home office.

You can head to our private Facebook page or move below for the secret YouTube to rewatch.

These chats are enormously popular among a segment of the membership. You can be part of them at a highly discounted rate right now, by signing up for PaulKuharsky.com's training camp special. Join the fun, now at 25 percent off.

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Scout's Take: Titans' Best Included RBs, Teair Tart, Andre Dillard and Alize Mack

Scout's Take: Titans' Best Included RBs, Teair Tart, Andre Dillard and Alize Mack

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans need a healthy Ryan Tannehill on offense for 17 weeks. Malik Willis is still a backup, developmental-type player and rookie Will Levis missed an important game environment to continue his growth.  

Best things I saw

The running back position is in good hands: Even without Derrick Henry the team in the first two weeks has found a running game with rookie Tyjae Spears and second-year player Julius Chestnut. Willis was also effective running the ball.

Spears gives this team a speed element that is lacking at the receiver position. His versatility and ability to give Henry a rest will also pay dividends to the team later in the year.

Tennessee Titans running back Tyjae Spears (32) slips past Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) to pick up a first down at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.
Tyjae Spears beats Andrew Booth Jr. / © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

In the past couple of seasons, the Titans had to ride Henry deep into the later parts of the regular season to have a chance at a playoff run. This season Spears will be a part of that run and will help keep Henry fresh. 

Teair Tart looks ready to control the middle of the defense: He has also improved his upfield penetration against the pass

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Titans' Malik Willis Leaves A Lot Of Questions With Play Against Vikings

Malik Willis’ practice progress didn’t translate into a smooth outing at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, though he did help led the Titans to a 24-16 win over the Vikings, running very well along the way.

Willis had two concerning plays in the first half that illustrate that, while he’s improved a great deal, his game still has a lot of uncertainty to it.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis (7) recovers his fumble as they face the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.
Malik Willis recovers his own fumble/ © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

On a third-possession play-action on first-and-10, he followed his fake handoff to Julius Chestnut with a drop back into a comfortable pocket. With time to step into a throw for an easy 26-yard gain to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, he bounced the ball to the receiver’s feet. It’s a play that felt like it came out of nowhere, and qualified as a complete miss. [Unlocked]

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Titans' Will Levis Will Not Play Saturday At Minnesota; Ryan Tannehill Not Scheduled to Play Either

Will Levis
  Will Levis

Will Levis will not suit up for the Titans Saturday night at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, which means Malik Willis is slated to play all of the second preseason game for the Titans.

Caroline Fenton first reported Levis is out and I've confirmed it. I've also learned the Titans don't plan to play Ryan Tannehill at all.

With no other QB available, Tannehill will be dressed and available if Willis is forced out of the game.

Levis left the Titans' second practice against the Vikings in Eagan, Minn. late with a lower-body injury on Thursday

The Titans have decided not to put that injury – the specifics of which are unknown -- at any further risk.

Ryan Tannehill has played in only one preseason for the Titans since he joined the team via trade in 2019, and that was in 2019 when he was Marcus Mariota’s backup at the start of the season. There was no preseason in 2020, but Tannehill did not suit up in 2021 or 2022.


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The Paul Kuharsky Podcast: Titans-Vikings Takeaways

The Paul Kuharsky PodcastEAGAN, Minn. -- The Titans mixed it up for two days with the Vikings in interesting and entertaining joint practices, and I sort through what I ascertained in this week's podcast.

Tune in for a word picture of Denico Autry great snap against Christian Darrisaw and more like that.

The new episode awaits you on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, iHeart and YouTube, which is also embedded below.

Other subjects I dive into:

💥 Injuries to Treylon Burks, Will Levis and Elijah Molden.
💥 The secrecy of officiating at practices like these.
💥 Areas of progress for Will Levis and Levis.

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Arden Key On Titans' Defense Versus Vikings: 'We whooped their ass'

Arden Key On Titans' Defense Versus Vikings: 'We whooped their ass'

EAGAN, Minn. – Arden Key is the right guy to summarize the Titans’ defensive work against the Vikings in two days of joint practices.

“We had a good day (Wednesday) but it wasn’t up to our standards,” he said. “The coaches got on our ass a little bit, some of the players got on our ass a little bit. Today, we whooped their ass.”

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) and quarterback Malik Willis (7) chat with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) after a joint practice in Eagan, Minn., Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023.
  Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins and Malik Willis/ © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

High-intensity Tennessee had an excellent defensive showing at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Complex, with some pretty pass defense, a consistently disruptive pass rush and a stout and stingy run defense. [Unlocked]

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