Decker is likely to man the slot with Rishard Matthews and Corey Davis on the outside. Decker's arrival is bad news for both players, as their share of the proverbial pie will be smaller with the very productive Decker soaking up targets. It's great news for Marcus Mariota, who has yet another weapon to throw to. Projections will be updated shortly.
Marcus Mariota, who suffered a fractured fibula on December 24 at Jacksonville, was on the field for the first of 10 organized team activities on Tuesday. Mariota did everything in the walk-through, and in individual drills. He also worked in the 7-on-7 period.
“It felt great,” Mariota said after practice. “Four months ago I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to participate in OTAs, and being able to do some of the drills … I was very happy and very grateful. It was fun to be out there with the guys, and I enjoyed it.”
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he’s getting closer to full speed, but he’s not there yet.
“We’ll take it day by day with Marcus,” Mularkey said. “He’d like to do more. He looks like he can do more, but it’s May, so we have time.”
In his first 27 NFL games, Mariota has averaged 17.7 fantasy points per game, which would have extrapolated to about what Dak Prescott scored last year as the league’s #6 fantasy quarterback. When his six-attempt game against the Patriots (from his rookie year) is removed, his average jumps to 18.3 FP. With the addition of Corey Davis, the #5 overall pick and an instant upgrade over Tajae Sharpe, Mariota now has Davis, Rishard Matthews, Delanie Walker and another draft pick, likely slot receiver Taywan Taylor, to throw to. Mariota looks like a very good value in the 9th round.
Eifert doesn’t know when he’ll be cleared to resume regular workouts or work in the May and June camps, but he says he’ll ready for training camp. He isn’t running full steam yet, but he’s been running enough that he feels he’s close to being in tip-top shape.
“I’ll be ready and healthy and strong and be ready to go by the time it’s go time,” Eifert said. “I’m close.”
“It will be nice to have somewhat of an offseason to get ready for the year,” Eifert said. “Instead of coming into camp straight off of injury.”
When Eifert is healthy, well, the numbers say it.
There is that .650 winning percentage and those .54 TDs per game. That’s what eight-time Pro Bowler Antonio Gates has in 204 games. No one is near Rob Gronkowksi’s .77 TDs per game, but consider that Jimmy Graham is at .56, Jordan Reed at .43, one-time Pro Bowl MVP Kyle Rudolph at .36, Greg Olsen at .34, Travis Kelce at .29, 10-time Pro Bowler Jason Witten at .28, and Delanie Walker at .19, and you’re looking at a guy that scores with the best of them.
In 21 games over the last two seasons, Eifert has averaged 3.9 catches for 48 yards and 0.86 TD per game (on 5.8 T/G). That equates to 13.8 PPG (PPR), which is what Travis Kelce averaged last season as fantasy’s #1 tight end. It will be tough for Eifert to maintain that touchdown rate, though he did manage 0.82 TD per game in the 17 games over the last two seasons that A.J. Green also played, which underlines Eifert’s red zone role in the passing game. If his touchdowns regress, he’ll be hard-pressed to make up the difference in receptions or yards, since his targets are low, relatively speaking.
Wright had 94 catches for 1079 yards and two touchdowns on 139 targets in his second season, but it’s been pretty downhill since then. He gained 715 yards in 2014, 408 yards in 2015 and finally 416 yards last year. He’ll provide depth behind presumed starters Cameron Meredith and Kevin White.
Titans HC Mike Mularkey was asked about the team's running back situation.
“(Derrick Henry) is an important part of our offense,’’ Mularkey said of Henry, a Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama who was a second-round pick by the Titans in last year’s draft. “Obviously DeMarco Murray is the guy. He has shown he is the guy and he will continue to be that guy.
“But I will say this: Each week we put a different game plan together. We spend a lot of hours preparing to play the opponent. And Derrick, and as you saw, some games he was more involved than others. And a lot is based on how we are going to attack the opponent. We know (Derrick) is very special. He is going to have a long, great career here and he is going to be a big part of our offense next year, as he was this year.
“I like we have a one-two punch to smash it down peoples’ throats to be honest with you.”
In the first eight games, Murray averaged 116 total yards and 1.0 TD per game (21.4 PPG), but in the second half of the season he averaged just 89 yards and 0.5 TD (15.0 PPG). Part of the reason was Derrick Henry’s expanded role down the stretch (6.6 rushing attempts in Weeks 1-8 and 9.5 attempts from Weeks 9-17). Murray’s numbers are still solid, but he doesn’t look like a 1st round pick in 2017.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is walking on a treadmill, but will probably be held out of OTAs as he continues to recover from a broken fibula suffered late last season, according to head coach Mike Mularkey.
Mike Mularkey spoke on 104.5 The Zone’s “Mid-day 180” show on Wednesday, giving an update on his quarterback’s health. Mariota suffered the injury on a sack in a December loss to Jacksonville, and underwent surgery. A plate was inserted into the leg around the ankle area to help the healing process. His recovery time was projected to be around five months.
Mularkey said the Titans would be overly cautious in how they handle Mariota’s return from the injury.
“I can’t give you specific dates. I think we’re gonna be really smart about how we handle him and probably be over-cautious. The later probably the better. We need him for September,” Mularkey said. “You guys know Marcus like I do. He’s probably gonna over train to come back as quickly as he can, and we’re probably gonna have to put the reins on him to hold back a little bit.”
Mularkey said he did not expect Mariota to be a participant in OTAs from a precautionary standpoint.
“Probably camp (for his return). I don’t really see OTAs right now, unless he has a quick recovery,” the coach said.
Mariota has averaged 17.6 fantasy points through his first two seasons, which is the 7th-highest average for a quarterback in his first two seasons.
At his peak, Kendall Wright was a top NFL receiver, pulling in 94 catches for 1,079 yards in 2013.
He’s moved steadily downhill since then and the 20th pick of the 2012 draft was a healthy scratch for the Tennessee Titans in their finale, which he seems certain was his last game with the franchise.
His 29 catches ranked fifth on the team and were the fewest of his career.
The current Titans regime saw Wright as a slot receiver, but the team used three wide receivers on fewer snaps than any team in the NFL. The story pointed out Wright is likeable guy who can make some electric plays as he did for the Titans in the wins over the Browns and Jaguars. But he can be complicated and it all came to seem like too much work to make things go with him heavily involved.
Murray said he suffered a torn plantar plate Oct. 27 in a Thursday night win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The plate is the ligament on the ball of the foot connected to the toe.
Murray said the injury impacted his ability to plant and explode. He said rest is the assigned treatment for the toe now.
Rishard Matthews emerged as one of Marcus Mariota’s top targets in the receiver's first season with the Titans, setting career highs in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns with one game still to play.
But he wasn’t happy through the first several weeks of the season, when he was splitting starts and sharing playing time with Andre Johnson, a future Hall of Fame receiver who signed with the Titans on the eve of training camp.
“I was pissed. At the end of the day, I didn’t come here to sit on the bench or sit on the sideline,” Matthews told The Tennessean on Friday. “I didn’t come here to rotate with anybody. I signed here for a reason. So it definitely pissed me off.”
Matthews, who spent the previous four years with the Dolphins before signing a three-year, $15 million contract with the Titans as a free agent in March, leads the team with 831 receiving yards and eight touchdowns this season, and his 56 catches trail only Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker, who has 60. Matthews will have a chance to boost those numbers in the regular-season finale against the Texans on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
Matthews did get off to a bit of a slow start this year and this was likely a reason. Matthews caught his first touchdown of the season in a blowout victory against the Dolphins. It began a stretch of seven scores in eight games. Johnson, meanwhile, didn’t have a catch in the three games after that victory against Miami and abruptly retired on Oct. 31, just eight games into his tenure with the Titans.
Friday, December 30, 2016, 6:42pm
Friday, December 30, 2016, 6:42pm
Marcus Mariota will have surgery on his broken leg Wednesday in Charlotte, head coach Mike Mularkey said Monday.
Mariota's operation will include the insertion of a plate in his leg to fix a fractured fibula suffered in a 38-17 loss to the Jaguars. Mariota's recovery process will be four to five months long, and the Titans hope to have Mariota back in time for organized team activities, Mularkey added.
Related players: Matt Cassel
Mariota broke his right leg in a 38-17 loss at Jacksonville on Saturday, a crushing setback for a team that had so many things go right while winning three in a row and seven of 10 previously.
''That breaks my heart, man,'' Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan said. ''Love him. That guy's an awesome dude. For that to happen to him, it's unfair.''
Related players: Matt Cassel
Friday, December 23, 2016, 5:51pm
Thursday, December 22, 2016, 6:27pm
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