Titans have alternate plan if Walker can't play

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans have a plan in case tight end Delanie Walker is available against Pittsburgh on Monday night.

In case he doesn't clear the concussion protocol in time to play, they have a backup.

They actually have three. The only issue? Only one has caught a pass for the Titans this season.

That means the Titans (2-7) won't be relying solely on Chase Coffman, who has two catches for 18 yards, Richard Gordon and Brett Brackett. If Walker can't play, then look for wide receivers and running backs to pitch in as well.

''We've got a plan, a multitude of things we're trying to do,'' Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said Thursday. ''It'll be a little bit of a patchwork if that's the case.''

Walker has been a key part of the Titans' offense this season. He is second only to wide receiver Kendall Wright with 38 catches, and his 512 yards receiving lead the team.

Walker also is tied with Wright with a team-high four touchdown catches. But the veteran had to be carted to the locker room after a hit just before halftime by Ravens safety Terrence Brooks last week.

So Walker has to clear the NFL's concussion protocol before he can return. He did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, though he has watched practice both days.

''It's obvious what Delanie does,'' offensive coordinator Jason Michael said. ''He brings a lot to the offense. He's done that all year. But it's been the same mentality from the beginning. The next guy's got to step up, and that's the way we prepare going through the protocol ... The other guys have gotten the reps, and we've just got to move forward that way.''

The Titans already have Craig Stevens (quadriceps muscle) and Taylor Thompson (right knee) on injured reserve. That forced them to go looking for help.

Gordon, who has four catches for 14 yards in his career in previous stops with Oakland and Kansas City, has played the past two games since signing with the Titans on Oct. 22.

Brett Brackett has played in two games and was inactive at Baltimore in a season that has seen him signed and waived with stints on the practice squad here and in Seattle this season.

At least Coffman was with the Titans during the preseason when he caught six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. He worked primarily with rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger, and Coffman, a five-year veteran, averaged 17.8 yards per catch in the preseason.

''Chase has been with us, and he understands his role and what he's being asked to do,'' Whisenhunt said.

Notes: RB Dexter McCluster (left knee), DT Sammie Hill (hamstring), CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (back) and RB Leon Washington (hamstring) were limited Thursday in practice. If neither McCluster nor Washington can play against Pittsburgh, Whisenhunt said Wright would be the option as the third-string punt returner.

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Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

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