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Titans vs Colts: Week 3 NFL preview


Titans vs Colts preview

Carson Wentz wants to play, but the Indianapolis Colts are unlikely to identify a starting quarterback for their Week 3 visit to the Tennessee Titans until gameday.

Wentz is questionable with swelling in both ankles. A right high ankle sprain kept him out of Wednesday’s practice with Jacob Eason and Brett Hundley getting work with the starting offense. Wentz said he can’t recall ever playing in a game without practicing the week prior.

Head coach Frank Reich said practicing on Friday is the typical barometer for a player being active on Sunday.

Worth consideration: Indianapolis is starting a three-game road swing. A loss Sunday would send the Colts to an 0-3 start with trips to Miami and Baltimore to follow.

Carson Wentz questionable status backdrop for Titans vs Colts matchup

titans vs colts; carson wentz injury
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) runs the ball up the field during the second half of an Indianapolis Colts game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Rams won 27-24 ( Christine Tannous/IndyStar via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

“Throwing kitchen sink at it trying to get healthy,” Wentz said of his approach to the week.

Tennessee is 1-1 and enters after its 33-30 overtime victory last week at Seattle, which helped the Titans recover from a blowout defeat at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals in the opener.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel shared his devil-may-care mentality when it comes to prepping for two quarterbacks. He said Wednesday the Titans view Wentz and Eason, who relieved an injured Wentz late in last week’s game, as similar-style quarterbacks.

“I don’t think there’s a huge difference in the skillset. They’re going to operate their offense,” Vrabel said. “Their receivers are tough, they’re physical. … They have a lot of dynamic players and the backs can do a lot of different things.”

No doubt Vrabel and defensive coordinator Shane Bowen have taken notice of the Colts’ protection issues up front. The group has allowed six sacks and 15 quarterback hits in two games. Wentz was hurt being spun the ground by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

“That’s not the way we want to play, especially up front,” Colts center Ryan Kelly said.

The Titans have their own offensive line woes. Left tackle Taylor Lewan was able to get back on the field Wednesday after being inactive at Seattle last week.

Titans vs Colts: Derrick Henry as X-factor

titans vs colts: derrick henry
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) rushes past Seattle Seahawks defenders during overtime at Lumen Field Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 in Seattle, Wash (George Walker IV / Tennessean.com via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

Indianapolis knows Derrick Henry all too well. Henry had 237 yards from scrimmage at Seattle and has averaged 172.7 yards from scrimmage in his past six games against the Colts.

“That’s what we’ve come to expect from Derrick. That’s a large part of who we are,” Vrabel said.

While the Colts sort out their quarterback quandary, the Titans are unclear of how the secondary might stack up on Sunday. Amari Hooker is on injured reserve and the Titans released Bradley McDougald.

Related: Find out where the Titans and Colts stand in our NFL Week 3 power rankings

Dane Cruikshank and Matthias Farley are among the options Vrabel is considering this week, he said.

The Titans have won two of the past three meetings. The Colts lead the all-time series, 35-17.

–Field Level Media