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Tough to Tell Where New Tackle Fits

The Tennessee Titans added veteran Bobby Hart on Wednesday even though they have other healthy and available options at that position.

NASHVILLE – It is clear – and understandable – that the Tennessee Titans don’t feel good about Taylor Lewan’s chances to play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Their latest roster moves, however, raise questions about how franchise officials and coaches feel about Lewan’s potential replacements.

The Titans signed tackle Bobby Hart and cornerback Greg Mabin on Wednesday.

Mabin, who has spent time with the Titans in 2020 and 2021, provides much-needed and obvious depth for a defensive backfield that has been decimated by injuries in recent games. Most notably, cornerback Kristian Fulton is on injured reserve for at least two more weeks due to a hamstring issue, and Caleb Farley is out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Additionally, cornerback Chris Jackson sustained an ankle injury against the Bills.

It is Hart’s addition that is a bit of a curiosity. The 27-year-old is a veteran of 79 NFL games who was Cincinnati’s starter at right tackle for the past three years. He also spent three years – one as a starter – with the New York Giants, who selected him in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

David Quessenberry has been Tennessee’s starter at right tackle all season, but he started the last six games of 2020 at left tackle after Lewan and the recently retired Ty Sambrailo were injured. He could move to the left side if needed.

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Veteran Kendall Lamm, a free-agent addition early in the offseason, took Lewan’s place against Buffalo. Yet he was the presumed starter at right tackle to open the offseason but lost his spot to Quessenberry when injuries limited his participation in training camp and the preseason.

The only other option on the active roster is rookie Dillon Radunz, a second-round pick this year who has seen minimal action to this point. Radunz initially was considered a candidate to start at right tackle, but he spent as much time during the offseason working at guard as he did at tackle. He has yet to carve out a consistent role for himself.

The practice squad includes Christian DiLauro, who has not played in a regular-season game during his three years in the league.

That is enough bodies to fill all the required gameday roles. Apparently, though, it is not enough to put the decision-makers’ minds at ease. So, now they have another option for as long as needed, based on Lewan’s situation (he did not practice on Thursday).

Lewan was strapped to a backboard and carted off the field during the second quarter of Monday’s 34-31 victory over the Buffalo Bills. The three-time Pro Bowler was diagnosed with a concussion, which means he must complete a set of league-mandated protocols before he is cleared to practice, let alone play.

With one fewer day than normal between games, there is less time for him to recover.

“You see a guy go down and leave the field in a traumatic kind of situation, a guy you love, a guy you call a teammate, a brother, and you see him lying there is tough,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “It was a difficult situation. You hate seeing a guy you love go down and especially leave the field like that.”