NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans announced that tight end Jonnu Smith and right handle Jack Conklin are placed on injured reserve on Tuesday. Both Smith and Conklin suffered knee injuries at Tennessee’s win over the Jaguars a week ago.
Before suffering an MCL accident, Smith posted 20 receptions for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns this past season.
Smith needed a rocky start but worked hard to make himself a favorite target for quarterback Marcus Mariota.
“You see how hard he works, how much he cares and the improvement that he makes, and how far it means to him,” trainer Mike Vrabel said.
Smith’s accident came while he was blocking for running back Derrick Henry‘s record-setting 99-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. The tight end stayed on the ground once Henry felt and was assisted by trainers. He walked in to locker room with help.
Reserve tight end Anthony Firkser will likely replace Smith in the line up.
“I’m convinced his role could change,” Vrabel said of Firkser. “He gets open, he catches the ball. The quarterbacks have confidence . We just have to continue to progress and develop him as a blocker, being an all-around tight end instead of just a [substitute] tight ending “
Conklin is likely to soon be replace by book guard/tackle Dennis Kelly. Conklin fought his way back from the ligament tear in the Titans playoff loss.