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Hot Topics from Titans Coach Mike Vrabel's Monday Presser


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Monday morning at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

The Titans had the weekend off after beating the Jaguars 30-9 on Thursday night at Nissan Stadium.

On Sunday, they'll travel to face the New York Giants.

Here's a look at some of the hot topics:

Giant Challenge

The Giants beat the Redskins 40-16 on Sunday after jumping out to a 40-0 lead.

Giants running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 170 yards in the game, including a 78-yard touchdown run that helped him surpass 1,000 yards for the season.

"We better be ready to play," Vrabel said. "We better be ready to play defense. This is a much-improved team.

"When they've lost, they've lost close games. And when they've won it looks like they won them pretty convincingly."

Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. already has 77 catches for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns on the season.

"He's very athletic, and he has great hands, good burst, suddenness," Vrabel said of Beckham. "He does a good job of breaking tackles, of swiping guys hands down. So it will be a challenge for us at a lot of levels with him, (Sterling) Shepard, (Evan) Engram, Barkley obviously."


Vrabel was asked about tight end Jonnu Smith and tackle Jack Conklin, who suffered knee injuries against the Jaguars.

"I would say they're getting treatment, trying to recover," Vrabel said. "So we'll kind of see where we go with the roster moving forward, depending on how long those guys will be out."

Vrabel said he's holding out hope for some of the injured players. Linebacker Brian Orakpo and receiver Tajae Sharpe were also injured vs. the Jaguars, and didn't finish the contest.

Vrabel said he doesn't expect Smith or Conklin to be able to play on Sunday against the Giants, and he hinted several times injuries to players could lead to roster moves.

Vrabel said the weekend off allowed some guys a chance a heal, "and the injury report is a lot shorter than it was on Friday morning when I saw it."

Firkser's role

With Smith's injury, the Titans are down to three healthy tight ends – Luke Stocker, MyCole Pruitt and Anthony Firkser.

Firkser has emerged in recent weeks, and on Monday Vrabel talked about his role expanding even more.

"I'm sure his role will change," Vrabel said of Firkser. "I think we have to get Anthony in there more, regardless of who is healthy. He gets open, he catches the ball, the quarterbacks have confidence in him.

"So just continue to try and progress and develop him as a blocker, as an all-around tight end."

Playoff Picture

The Titans, now 7-6, saw some positive developments across the league on Sunday as it relates to their playoff chances.

Losses by the Ravens, Broncos, Steelers and Texans all helped, while Miami's win against the Patriots was the only result that didn't favor the Titans.

Vrabel said the Titans just need to worry about themselves.

"That's the only scenario that really matters for us, is that we try to find a way to win a game," Vrabel said. "Because whatever else would happen outside of that couldn't help us if we didn't find a way to win."

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