Six Players/Positions to Watch for Titans in Preseason Finale vs Vikings


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans wrap up the preseason on Thursday night against the Vikings at Nissan Stadium.

By Saturday afternoon, all NFL teams must go from 90 players to 53 players during roster cuts.

Here's a look at six players/positions to watch in tonight's game:

QB Luke Falk

This won't be a game where quarterback Marcus Mariota builds momentum heading into the regular season. Instead, it will be an opportunity for No.3 QB Luke Falk, a sixth-round draft pick in April. Falk has had his moments with the Titans – good and bad – over the past few months. He's completed 19-of-34 passes for 182 yards, with a touchdown, an interception, and three sacks so far in the preseason. Can he convince the Titans to keep him on the 53-man roster, or will his development continue to the practice squad?

Young Receivers

I wrote about surging undrafted receiver Deontay Burnett on Wednesday. The USC product has emerged from the group of undrafted players, and he'll have a final chance to make a case for himself against the Vikings. The same goes for guys like Cameron Batson, Devin Ross, Jordan Veasy and Brandon Shippen. Heading into roster cuts, I count four sure things at the receiver position, maybe five. And I suspect decisions have been made on a lot of them. Some others could make the GM think.

Running backs

Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis will provide the one-two punch for the Titans this fall, and David Fluellen has been the third-best running back on the roster this summer. The big question here is whether the team will keep a fourth. Akrum Wadley has flashed, but an injury kept him out of Saturday's game at Pittsburgh and slowed him in practices this week. Dalyn Dawkins has impressed me with his quickness as well. The Titans signed running back Lenard Tillery this week, so expect to see him tonight as well.

TE Anthony Firkser/LB Robert Spillane

These guys have been the best underdog stories of camp, a pair of tryout guys now standing out in an effort to stick. There was a time not too long ago when the Titans kept five tight ends on the initial 53-man roster. Well, that's not happening this year. Delanie Walker, Jonnu Smith and Luke Stocker make three, and Firkser needs to convince his bosses he's worthy of being No.4. If not, he's a great practice squad candidate. Spillane has been productive – and fun to watch – in practices and games. But is there room?


The Titans took a hit here in camp, losing cornerbacks Tye Smith and Kalan Reed, along with safety Johnathan Cyprien, for the season. It's opened the door for some young guys to contend for a roster spot. Cornerback Kenneth Durden has risen to the occasion. I've liked the looks of spunky cornerback Rico Gafford, too. At safety, the recent injury to Kendrick Lewis has complicated things as well, and kept others in contention. Will someone jump out tonight?

Offensive line/Defensive line

Like a lot of positions, the Titans will play a numbers game here. On the offensive line, the status of Jack Conklin muddies the water a little bit. Behind the current starting five that includes Dennis Kelly, plus Conklin, offensive linemen Kevin Pamphile and Corey Levin get the team to eight. How deep will the Titans go, and will they need to go heavier earlier because of Conklin? The guys to watch are Xavier Su'a-Filo and Tyler Marz. On the defensive line, Matt Dickerson, Julius Warmsley and Mike Ramsay have all intrigued me, but there's probably room for maybe one. looks back at the all-time series between the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings. (AP Photos)

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