TE Delanie Walker Misses Football, and Hates Seeing His Titans Teammates Miss Him On Field


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Delanie Walker doesn't know how to feel about now, with too much time on his hands after being reduced to a spectator because of his ankle injury.

But the Titans tight end knows what he misses most.

"I miss scoring touchdowns, man," Walker said on Wednesday. "I miss catching the ball and seeing the crowd go crazy. Honestly, that's the truth, man. I miss the excitement and seeing the roar of the crowd – that's why I play the game. When the crowd is excited, I am excited."

What makes things even tougher for Walker is seeing the Titans struggle without him. At the bye, the Titans are 3-4, and ranked 30th in the NFL in total offense, and 30th in scoring. The team has struggled mightily in the red zone.

"It is very hard," Walker said. "I consider myself as one of the offensive weapons that really helps this team make plays and get the offense going, so it is hard to see them not put points on the board because I feel like I should be out there. I feel down, because I feel like I am letting them down by not being out there. But I didn't do this to myself.

"… It's the first time in 13 seasons I haven't been able to play. It's just really tough, not being able to help the team out, not being able to be on the field, not being able to run, or do anything I am good at. So it is tough, but I know the process I am going through and I know when I come back I'll be back to where I am at."

The end of Delanie Walker's 2018 season was quick, and painful.

After making a catch in the fourth quarter of a Week One contest at Miami, Walker was tackled, and he felt the weight of a Dolphins defender come crashing down on his right ankle. Walker had surgery, and was placed on Injured Reserve.

On Wednesday, Walker made his way through the Titans locker room on crutches.

He just got off his scooter three days ago.

"I have been walking for three days, so I think that is a plus," Walker said. "Who knows when I am able to start running again? That is all I am looking forward to, being able to take this boot off and walk and really just start running."

Walker was voted as a captain by his teammates before the start of the season. He was named to his third straight Pro Bowl in 2017 after he led the team with 74 receptions for 807 yards and three touchdowns. Walker was named Offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl after catching two touchdowns in the game, including an 18-yard, game-winning score in the fourth quarter.

Without a doubt, he's been missed.

Walker said he's done his best to encourage players, including fellow tight end Jonnu Smith, who has played more snaps since Walker went down.

"It is hard to put somebody in a situation I feel I put him in, with me getting hurt," Walker said of Smith. "He had to jump in and fill that spot, and it can be tough… I still think he can be a great tight end -- he just has to get confidence in himself."

Right now, Walker said he'll continue to cheer on his teammates.

His ankle is sore, and he's learning how to walk again, he said.

He said doctors haven't given him a game plan as far as a timetable goes.

"It's just how I feel, that's pretty much what the doctors said," Walker said. "It's going to be up to me as far as when I can come back and feel stable enough to play this game.

"I think that is the hardest part, just watching. It is hard, but I can only get ready for what's to come, and if I don't make it back this season it will be next year. And (I'll) try not to get hurt so I can go out there and have a great year."

TitansOnline.com looks back at TE Delanie Walker's 2017 Pro Bowl season. (AP Photos)

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