The Tennessee Titans activated Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern from injured reserve on Saturday, clearing the way for his return Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
Kern, 34, missed the past three games with a wrist injury sustained in a Nov. 1 loss at Cincinnati.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection and 2019 All-Pro has played 175 games with the Titans since joining the team in 2009 after parts of two seasons with the Denver Broncos.
The Titans also activated linebacker David Long from the reserve/COVID-19 list and activated cornerback Tye Smith from injured reserve.
Long, 24, has 11 tackles and one forced fumble in eight games this season. Smith, 27, has nine tackles in six games.
Saturday’s flurry of transactions also included promoting long snapper Matt Overton from the practice squad to the active roster, activating linebacker Will Compton from the practice squad, activating linebacker Tuzar Skipper from the practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement and placing rookie defensive back Chris Jackson on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
–Field Level Media
The Indianapolis Colts will enter Sunday’s key AFC South matchup with the Tennessee Titans minus three starters on defense.
Head coach Frank Reich stated Friday that defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry as well as linebacker Bobby Okereke are all out for the contest.
”This is normal in the NFL and good teams overcome it,” Reich said on Friday about missing the three players.
Both Buckner and Autry are currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list, which means that both have to wait at least 10 days after symptoms begin and 24 after symptoms pass to return to the team.
Autry missed last Sunday’s Colts overtime win over the Green Bay Packers at home after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Buckner was placed on the list on Wednesday after he tested positive for the virus.
Okereke has been ruled out of Sunday’s game with an injured ankle.
Indianapolis will look for their second win over the Titans in 2020, having defeated them 34-17 in Nashville back on Nov. 12.
Both teams enter Sunday’s game with a record of 7-3. Both teams are coming off overtime wins Sunday, the Colts win over Green Bay and the Titans topped the Baltimore Ravens 30-24 on a game winning 29-yard touchdown run by Derrick Henry.
Henry finished the game with 133 yards and the winning score. This season he has rushed for 1,079 yards and nine touchdowns.
Reich said on Friday that it is nothing new to lose key players prior to a big game, but it is something the Colts will have to fight through.
“I’ve seen it happen so many times through the years, the good teams overcome it and that’s what we need to do,” Reich said.
— Field Level Media
Tennessee Titans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is dealing with a meniscus issue in his knee that could require surgery, NFL Network reported Saturday.
The three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game in Nashville against the Chicago Bears, but the report said he is unlikely to play after not practicing all week.
Clowney, who signed a one-year, $12 million deal a few days before the season opener, has reportedly been trying to play through the injury and has registered zero sacks through seven starts.
Clowney, 27, has 15 tackles, six quarterback hits, four passes defensed, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Clowney has 32 sacks, 251 tackles, seven fumble recoveries and four defensive touchdowns in 82 games with the Houston Texans (2014-18), Seattle Seahawks (2019) and Titans.
–Field Level Media
Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns Sunday as the Cincinnati Bengals pulled off one of the biggest upsets of Week 8, stopping the Tennessee Titans 31-20 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
Burrow completed 26 of 37 passes with no interceptions, leading Cincinnati (2-5-1) to its best performance of the year in toppling the AFC South leaders. The Bengals were outgained 441-367, but committed no turnovers and came up with key stops defensively to frustrate Tennessee.
Derrick Henry rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown for the Titans (5-2), which lost their second straight game after a 5-0 start. Ryan Tannehill hit on 18 of 30 throws for 233 yards with two scores and an interception, while Corey Davis grabbed eight passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.
However, Tennessee fell into a first-place tie with Indianapolis in the South because its defense again struggled. The Titans have allowed at least 27 points in five of their seven games. That included Burrow’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Giovani Bernard with 7:30 left in the game that sandwiched Tannehill scoring strikes to A.J. Brown and Davis.
Cincinnati set the tone with its first drive, eating more than five minutes before Randy Bullock converted a 33-yard field goal. The Bengals then pushed their lead to 10-0 when Samaje Perine plunged 1 yard for a touchdown with 10:30 left in the first half.
Tennessee got on the board behind Henry. He accounted for 46 yards on seven carries during its first touchdown drive, finishing the 75-yard march with a 3-yard run at the 6:04 mark to cut the deficit to three points.
However, Cincinnati answered back with a drive of 5:32, putting points on the board 32 seconds before halftime. Bernard, starting for the injured Joe Mixon, ran it in from the 12 to make it 17-7 at intermission.
Burrow increased the advantage to 24-7 with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd just 1:05 into the fourth quarter.
–Field Level Media