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Injuries Pave Way For Titans Rookies


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It's not just Michael Roos opening up a spot for first-round pick Taylor Lewan to start against the Jaguars. The Titans have other injuries that have the rest of the team's 2014 draft picks in line for an increased role on Sunday.

A hamstring injury has Titans starting running back Shonn Greene listed as doubtful this week. That means second-round pick Bishop Sankey would likely assume more touches, along with Dexter McCluster.

Sankey has 150 rushing yards on 32 attempts (4.7 avg.) and one touchdown to go along with his three receptions for 32 yards. His busiest day came against Cincinnati with 11 total touches.

The rookie back says he's ready for as much as the coaches want to throw at him.

"I'm looking forward to as many carries as they want me to have," said Sankey. "Depending on Shonn's situation, me, Leon and Dexter are going to have to have to pick up some of the slack. I think we're capable of doing that and I think everyone is excited to get this win. That's the main thing we're focused on."

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters yesterday that he's pleased with the personnel on the current 53-man roster and doesn't foresee a need to sign someone.

"You feel good about what we've seen from Dexter and Leon [Washington] and Bishop. Bishop has been on the uptake as far as getting more reps and being ready to play. We do have Jackie [Battle] that can fill in some there as a runner if we need him. We feel covered from that standpoint."

The Titans have two running backs currently on the 10-man practice squad – undrafted rookie Antonio Andrews and Lache Seastrunk, who was a sixth round pick by the Redskins this year.

Andrews had an impressive training camp and was retained to the practice squad after clearing initial waivers. Whisenhunt said he's been pleased with what Andrews has done this season, but that it's too soon to dip into the practice squad.

"I wouldn't anticipate that right now," he said. "Antonio has been doing a great job on our practice squad and working hard. That's just not a move that you can make right now."

In addition to the running back situation, cornerback Coty Sensabaugh's knee also has his status up in the air for Sunday. Combine that with Bernard Pollard's season-ending Achilles rupture and hybrid rookie defensive back Marqueston Huff is in line for a full share of snaps.

The Titans traded down 12 spots with the Eagles in the second round, but still snagged Washington RB Bishop Sankey. (AP Photos)

Whisenhunt has said since training camp that he likes Huff's ability to play both safety and cornerback. George Wilson and Daimion Stafford will also spend some time filling Pollard's spot, but Wilson has been getting snaps at inside linebacker as well.

Huff has played in all five games with four total tackles. He'll be a big piece in a larger sum of constantly moving parts in the Titans secondary.

2014 fifth round pick Avery Williamson has already made his first NFL start at middle linebacker. He wore the captain's helmet that communicated with the defensive coordinator last week against the Browns. Williamson has shown continued improvement each week with 18 total tackles and two passes defensed. He'll continue to see plenty of playing time against the Jaguars.

The Titans selected Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan with the 11th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.

That leaves fourth round pick DaQuan Jones and sixth round pick Zach Mettenberger. Both have only been active for one game this season, but with Jake Locker not practicing all week, Mettenberger could be active on Sunday.

To be getting contributions from five out of six 2014 draft picks in only week six is something Titans fans should be looking forward to.

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