Delanie Walker placed on IR; set for surgery

Titans tight end Delanie Walker was placed on injured reserve after a gruesome ankle injury that will require surgery.

As expected, the Tennessee Titans will be without star tight end Delanie Walker likely for the remainder of the season.

While Coach Mike Vrabel wasnt ready to say that Walkers season is over, the Titans placed the 13-year veteran on injured reserve on Monday, a day after his suffered a broken right ankle when Dolphins defender T.J. McDonald put his weight on Walker as Walker was going down following a catch. The force of McDonalds weight caused Walkers ankle to pin underneath him at an awkward angle late in Sundays 27-20 season-opening loss in Miami.

Hes probably going to have surgery sometime in the next few days, Titans coach Mike Vrabel announced at his Monday press conference. Its disappointing because he puts a lot into it and he plays hard. Hes been a productive player for us and is somebody I was excited to coach and be with. Well see where hes at after surgery and re-evaluate his potential to return.

In a corresponding move, the Titans signed tight end MyCole Pruitt off the Houston Texans practice squad to fill the roster spot. Pruitt was a fifth-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2015.

The Titans are losing their most productive weapon in the passing game with Walkers injury. The 34-year-old tight end, who signed a two-year extension in training camp, had caught at least 60 passes every year since signing with Tennessee in 2013.

It means that the next guy gets more opportunities, and that is Jonnu. Thats why youre drafted into this league. Thats why youre on the roster, Vrabel said. You wouldnt be on this roster if we didnt feel like you could help us in a game.

Smith, a third-round pick last year, caught 18 passes as a rookie with the Titans in 2017 and caught one ball in Sundays loss to Miami after Walker went out.

Hes a great player, but I believe Im also a great player, Smith said. I have some things I have to continue to improve on. Im my own biggest challenge, not the guy next to me. Thats just the mindset I have. Its some big shoes to fill, because hes a hell of a player and hes left a hell of a mark here.

Hes doing something right, because hes been in the league like 50 years. But you watch him day in and day out, and hes a professional. Im still considered to be a young guy in this league, so Ive been trying to be a sponge. Ive been ready for this since I was six years old and started playing football.