FRANKLIN – Delanie Walker's 2019 season is over, but he's not ready to hang up his cleats.
The Titans tight end said on Tuesday night he wants to keep playing football and believes in time his troublesome ankle will allow him to return to form.
The Titans placed Walker on Injured Reserve last month.
"This is not the end for me," Walker said on Tuesday night, when he hosted a pizza party and took children on a shopping spree. "This is a setback. And if anyone knows the type injury I had, it ain't easy to come back and play at a high level like I do. I just want to get it fixed and be ready for next year.
"I still have a year on my contract, and I am a Titan. So as long as the team, the organization, wants me here and believes in me, I am always going to be a Titan."
Walker, who struggled health-wise this season with the ankle he had surgery on last year, ended up playing in seven games in 2019. He finished this season with 21 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns.
Walker was inactive for four games leading up to him being placed on IR.
"It was tough, and it hurts that I am not able to help my team out, and they are doing such a good job this year and I am excited about what going on with the team," Walker said. "And that's the disappointing part, in that I feel like I am letting myself down and the team not being able to perform at the highest level. But I know once I get this taken care of I'll be back to normal and that is the goal."
In his 14-year playing career, Walker has 504 catches for 5,888 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Walker said his ankle started to get even more tender after returning to the practice field last month, and the decision was made for him to not play any more in 2019.
"Pretty much I practiced, and I felt good, but as the week progressed I felt like it wasn't getting better the way I thought it was," Walker said. "I just felt like I wasn't going to be myself, and I didn't think I was 100 percent to protect myself on the field. We had a conversation, the team and I, and we felt it was best that I try and get it fixed and get ready for the future."
On Tuesday night, to celebrate the holiday season, local children from Napier Elementary joined Walker for a holiday shopping spree at a local sporting goods store. Walker also hosted the kids for a pizza party, where he surprised them about their shopping spree and Woom Bikes USA giveaway.
It was Walker's 7th Holiday Night Out in partnership with the Delanie Walker Gives Back Foundation.
"Some of them were so excited, they cried out of excitement, and that goes a long way," Walker said. "I set out to try and change lives and being able to have the platform that I do by being in the NFL means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to guys on the team. Just to be able to impact the community we live in (is important to me)."