Update: According to NFL reporter Ian Rapoport, Walker suffered a dislocated ankle as well as an associated fracture. His season is over.
After waiting all this time, it’s the worst result for Delanie Walker.
The Titans tight end was attempting to help his team come back late in the fourth quarter against the Dolphins. The game had been delayed all day, making it the longest game in NFL history.
Here’s the video, which some may find graphic:
Walker caught a pass over the middle, and everyone immediately realized the extent of the injury. Walker’s ankle was hanging limp, and surrounding players immediately called for trainers to come to his assistance. On the field, Walker’s leg was placed in a leg cast and he was carted off the field.
It’s a devastating blow for the Titans, who had a nightmare start to their season. Walker was the latest injury to key players, as Marcus Mariota and Taylor Lewan had already been forced out of the contest. Mariota exited with an elbow injury before the second weather delay, and Lewan exited with a concussion after a nasty blindside hit.
Walker is preparing to play his 13th NFL season, and is respected around the league. In July, he agreed to a two-year contract extension to stay with the Titans through 2020. He’s been with the team since 2013, and has averaged at least 10 yards per reception in each of the least four seasons.
Walker will be replaced in the lineup by Jonnu Smith, but it’s not a straight swap. Walker is one of the leaders on his team, and the Titans take a step back without him in the lineup. Smith isn’t the same target in the passing game, and this could mean increased responsibilities for Corey Davis. However, the entire Titans passing game takes a step back with Gabbert at the helm.
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