Derrick Henry’s record-setting night Thursday night not only absolved him from some of the criticism that has come his way this season, it also vindicated some of the issues that the Tennessee Titans offensive line has had this year as well.
Of those linemen, perhaps no one was as happy for Henry as left guard Quinton Spain, who was back in the lineup and part of opening holes for Henry’s 238-yard effort, just a week after being benched at halftime against the New York Jets.
When the third quarter began last week, Spain was on the sideline, watching starting center Ben Jones man his spot and seeing second-year pro Corey Levin finish the game at center.
For Spain, it was disappointing, but he was glad to get a chance to redeem himself on a short week against Jacksonville.
“I’m just blessed that they believed in me and sent me back in there. I’m just happy that they made that decision, and I’ve just got to run with it,” Spain said.
As for why he was taken out last week, Spain didn’t necessarily agree with the move by head coach Mike Vrabel, but he accepted it, and it worked out.
“He just said it was a decision he had to make, and I respected it. We got the win and we just move on,” Spain said.
Left tackle Taylor Lewan certainly had an interesting game in what he labeled as “entertainment” in his post-game press conference.
Lewan was shaken up on a play and was down on the field for a bit before getting up and chirping at the Jaguars’ Malik Jackson before he retreated to the Titans sideline.
“It really wasn’t a big deal. He and I shook hands after the game, and it was cool,” Lewan said.
While down on the field, Lewan also managed to flip a bird at the sky cam that gets overhead shots of the game.
He just said it was a decision he had to make, and I respected it. We got the win and we just move on.
“The damn thing was right in may face. I was like, ‘What is going on?’ I’m sitting here in pain. My shoulder hurts, and this thing is staring at me in the face,” Lewan said.
Later on, Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey did a flop on a hit from Lewan, trying to draw a penalty. When there was no flag thrown, Lewan was caught on camera playing the air violin in reaction.
“When Jalen Ramsey does the ultimate flop and I hit the violin with it, literally that’s truly just entertainment to both of us. But at the end of the day, it’s just football,” Lewan said.
Tight end Jonnu Smith suffered what could be a serious knee injury on Derrick Henry’s 99-yard touchdown run. Smith had to be helped off the field and did not return.
Right tackle Jack Conklin did not finish the game due to a knee injury. He was limping in the locker room afterward, favoring his left knee, the one he had ACL surgery on in January.
Receiver Tajae Sharpe suffered an ankle injury and did not finish the game as well.
Brian Orakpo was shaken up late in the game with an undisclosed injury.