Skip to main content

Is This the End for Lewan?

The three-time Pro Bowl left tackle might be finished in Tennessee after he sustained a season-ending knee injury on the first snap Monday at Buffalo.

Taylor Lewan is done for the season.

Are the Tennessee Titans done with him?

With Saturday’s news that the veteran left tackle will miss the remainder of this season with a knee injury, it seems likely that his tenure with the team that drafted him 11th overall in 2014 is finished as well. Lewan made the announcement that he is done for 2022 on Twitter via Bussin’ With The Boys, the podcast he co-hosts with former teammate Will Compton.

Lewan was injured on the first offensive snap of Monday’s 41-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills, which means they effectively got one game from him this season, his ninth in the NFL. On Friday, coaches ruled him out for Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Now, he is headed to injured reserve.

A mounting injury history combined with his age – he turned 31 days before the start of training camp – calls into question whether he and the Titans are headed toward a breakup.

Lewan is under contract for one more season. However, if they cut him in 2023, they will save $14.841 million in salary cap space, which his full cap number (source: OverTheCap.com). He will not cost the team anything in dead money.

Late in his rookie season, Lewan took over at left tackle and seamlessly succeeded Michael Roos, who years earlier had replaced Brad Hopkins. Those three are among the nine players who have started at least 100 games for Tennessee during the Titans era (1999-present). Roos started 148. Hopkins started 101, and Monday was Lewan’s 100th. All three made at least one Pro Bowl appearance as well.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

What happens after Lewan is anyone’s guess, however. Dennis Daley, acquired in a trade with Carolina at the end of the preseason, steps in for now, but the long-term future is unclear.

The Titans have selected a tackle early in each of the last three drafts yet have little to show for it. Isaiah Wilson, a first-round choice in 2020, lasted one disastrous season with the franchise and is out of the league. Dillon Radunz, last year’s second-round pick, failed to earn the job at right tackle this season despite being given every opportunity to do so. Nicholas Petit-Frere was named the starter at right tackle after Radunz struggled during the preseason.

Ideally, Radunz and Petit-Frere would be their starting tackles in 2023, but that is hardly a guarantee at this point. Daley is set to be a free agent after this season, and now has the opportunity to convince franchise officials to keep him.

That uncertainty could convince general manager Jon Robinson and coach Mike Vrabel to stick with Lewan, provided his rehab goes according to plan, for one more season.

It will be a risk if they do so. As of now, his salary cap number for 2023 is the third-highest on the roster, and he has not shown an ability to stay on the field.

Officially, Lewan played two games this season and will miss the final 15. He was out for just one game due to a concussion in 2018. The knee became a problem when he sustained a season-ending injury in the fifth game of 2020. Continuing issues with the joint were a factor in his four absences last season. He also served a four-game suspension in 2019 for violation of the NFL’s performance enhancing drug policy.

In nine seasons, he has played every game just twice.

This year, he did not even come close. The Titans will go on without him – and they might just keep going that way.