That didn’t go like we thought it would. All the hype that surrounded the debut of Derrick Henry, Julio Jones, and A.J. Brown playing together in the same offense quickly died down during the Tennessee Titans’ embarrassing Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The trio of Brown, Jones, and Henry combined to account for just 136 yards and a single touchdown on opening weekend. The Titans will need their offense to perform at a higher level against a tough Seattle Seahawks defense in Week 2.
Head coach Mike Vrabel and offensive coordinator Todd Downing will be looking for someone to provide a spark, and that someone could be a player whose absence on Sunday loomed larger than many originally thought it would.
While the offseason acquisition of Jones understandably dominated the headlines in Nashville, the Titans also added fellow wide receiver Josh Reynolds in free agency. Reynolds was held out of their Week 1 loss to the Cardinals with a recurring Achilles injury but appears set to make his Titans debut this Sunday after being listed as a full participant at practice on Wednesday.
Although the Titans' 2021 success will likely hinge on the performances of their top-heavy trio, depth at the position came into sharp focus during Sunday's loss. Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill targeted the likes of Chester Rogers and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine while failing to find Brown and Jones on the desired consistent basis on Sunday. When healthy, Reynolds could step into the WR3 role that's currently being occupied by Rogers, an NFL journeyman playing on his third different NFL team in as many years.
The final stat line was friendly to Rogers, who finished Sunday's loss to the Cardinals with four catches for a team-high 62 yards, but it's worth noting that 39 of them came on a flea-flicker that fooled the defense.
The return of Reynolds will give the Titans confidence to run more three-receiver sets, not to mention the versatility to move their pass-catchers around the formation. Reynolds can play all three receiver positions, and his skill-set should mesh well with Tannehill's ability to push the ball downfield.
Reynolds should find plenty of opportunities to make a positive impact on this offense. The former Texas A&M standout played in a similar scheme under Sean McVay in Los Angeles and performed at an admirable level (52 receptions for 652 yards) while playing third fiddle to Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods in 2020.
Reynolds signed a one-year prove-it deal with Tennessee in hopes of turning a big season into an even bigger payday in 2022. While he tries to make his mark on what could still be a prolific offense, the Titans may be counting on him more than they originally imagined.
- Aug 22, 2022
- Aug 22, 2022