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TE Delanie Walker Proves Durability to Titans


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Delanie Walker wasn't looking for any courage awards after Sunday's win.

But by playing – and at a high level – in the team's victory over the Ravens, the Titans tight end hopes his teammates got further proof of how much it means to him.

"I try and be durable for this team," Walker said. "Thankfully my coaches respect me enough that they say, 'He doesn't need the practice. Give him one day (of practice) and I'm sure he'll go out there and perform at a high level.' And I did that.

"My mindset is I don't want to let my team down. If I can play, I am going to play."

Despite missing practices and being limited leading up to the game with an ankle injury he suffered on October 22 at Cleveland, Walker played 32 of the team's 52 snaps in a 23-20 win.

Walker, who spent the bye week in a walking boot, finished with a team-high 71 receiving yards on five catches, including a big 25-yard catch across the middle in the fourth quarter.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey said Walker's availability hinged on his ability to play in pain.

Walker said the discomfort from the deep bone bruise eased late in the week, and he wanted to play.

"I thought it was very brave of him," Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota said. "When you're able to go out there and play not at 100 percent and make plays like he did today, it says a lot about who you are. We're very fortunate to have someone like that in this locker room that cares solely about this team and I think we all can learn a little bit from that guy."

Former Titans tight end Bo Scaife, in town for the team's Homecoming Weekend, said Walker is a guy everyone should admire.

"To see his evolution, and to see him make the jump where he's taken his game to another level," Scaife said of Walker. "He's at a level where he's one of the top five tight ends in the league. I love seeing guys be successful in this league because I know how much you have to put in to do that.

"He's a guy who has put in the work, and you see it every Sunday."

A number of Titans have played through pain during the course of the season.

Running back DeMarco Murray, for one, has played through hamstring, shoulder and knee injuries this season. Mariota gutted through several games with a lingering hamstring injury, and numerous Titans have played in games after missing practices and appearing on the Injury Reports leading up to games.

Walker, who has played in 68 of 72 games since joining the Titans in 2013, has proven to be durable during his career, which started back in 2006 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

"We have a lot of tough guys on this team," Mularkey said. "There's some guys that are playing with some dinged up body parts that are playing through it, practicing through it, playing through it. I think that's the identity of this team, but it's really the makeup of this team, the guys that we have on this roster, that's who they are. We have tough players."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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