Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said that he doesn’t expect Jason McCourty to miss extended time following groin surgery on Monday. While Whisenhunt didn’t give a specific timetable for the return of his top corner, he also didn’t rule out having McCourty on the field for the team’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 13.
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While Tampa Bay does present one of the more winnable games on Tennessee’s 2015 regular season slate, having McCourty out would certainly make things more difficult for a secondary that will be tasked with covering Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. The potential loss would likely slide Perrish Cox into the top corner spot, with Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Coty Sensabaugh subsequently moving up the depth chart as well.
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If Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan and the Titans’ pass rush can be effective, Tennessee should be able to get by with Cox, Wren-Wilson and Sensabaugh in the short-term. Should McCourty prove to be out for longer than anticipated, however, that could make things that much tougher if the Titans were hoping to steal a game from the likes of Indianapolis, New England or other top opponents on the schedule this fall.
Should Tennessee opt to look outside the organization for a temporary replacement, Carlos Rogers and Antoine Cason highlight the thin crop of free agents corners currently on the market. With Marqueston Huff and Jamea Thomas getting beat by Chris Givens for an 80-yard score through the air over the weekend, either player could stand to be a valuable depth option anyhow, and could potentially play a more significant role while McCourty is on the shelf.
While the Titans aren’t exactly a playoff favorite entering 2015, they’ve given fans reason to believe they could at least hang around deep into the season if they play the way they have in the preseason.
The exhibition game performances don’t always transfer into regular season success, but key players like Marcus Mariota, running backs David Cobb and Bishop Sankey, new right tackle Byron Bell and others have shown they could potentially surpass expectations this year. It appears McCourty will be around to help Tennessee try and shock the football world for most of the year, but the Titans will definitely miss his presence if he misses any action.
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