No Derrick Henry. No Julio Jones. And now, no A.J. Brown, either.
The Tennessee Titans officially ruled Brown, their No. 1 wide receiver, out for Sunday’s matchup with the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Brown suffered a chest injury during last Sunday’s upset loss to the Houston Texans and did not practice this week. The 2018 second-round draft pick is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and leads the Titans with 46 catches for 615 yards and three touchdowns through 11 games this year.
Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill-led passing attack relies heavily on Brown’s production. No other Titans player has more than 25 catches or 336 receiving yards this season.
With Jones (injured reserve) also out Sunday, here are the Titans’ available wide receivers for their visit to Foxboro, Mass.:
Golden Tate (practice squad)
Cody Hollister (PS)
Mason Kinsey (PS)
Austin Mack (PS)
The 33-year-old Tate just signed with Tennessee and has not played since last season, but he could see significant playing time in this depleted and inexperienced group.
The Titans also will be thin at running back without All-Pro Derrick Henry, who went down with a foot injury in Week 8. Mike Vrabel’s club cut veteran Adrian Peterson this week and ruled out Jeremy McNichols (concussion), leaving D’Onta Foreman, Dontrell Hilliard and practice squadder Rodney Smith as its only available backfield options.
Tennessee ruled out a total of six players Friday: Brown, McNichols, linebackers Rashaan Evans and David Long, offensive lineman Nate Davis and defensive lineman Teair Tart.
The 7-4 Patriots boast arguably the NFL’s best defense (first in points allowed through 11 weeks) and are riding a five-game win streak, outscoring opponents 175-50 during that span. The 8-3, AFC-leading Titans have looked vulnerable since Henry’s injury, narrowly beating Trevor Siemian and the New Orleans Saints before losing at home to a one-win Texans squad.
New England can take over first place in the conference with a win Sunday and a Baltimore Ravens loss. Kickoff at Gillette Stadium is set for 1 p.m. ET.