He had to deal with the death of his father in December, and that came afterwards he’d worked his way back from an illness in September he caused him to drop weight and overlook five of Tennessee’s first seven matches. When he was not dealing with those issues off the area, he was often in the lineup and playing well at right tackle in place of Jack Conklin, who started only nine matches in 2018.

It added up to challenging season for Kelly, who impressed coaches and teammates .

Difficult beginning

There have been early signs which 2018 wouldn’t be another season for Kelly. He opened the season for a replacement for Conklin at the summer season opener in Miami, a brutal game which lasted seven hours and 10 minutes because of weather delays, rendering it the longest in NFL history.

Kelly’s problems started when he was hospitalized during the days leading upto Tennessee’s Week 2 match up against the Houston Texans. Tests demonstrated inconclusive, and so the illness that was nervewracking was never identified.

“That’s sort of this mystery.”

Once Kelly, listed at 6-foot-8 and 321 pounds, started to feel better, managing the workload to put cash back on was difficult. He had to be careful to not over work himself for fear of tripping the condition , and he did not return to the lineup until getting five snaps from the Titans’ Week 7 game in London against the Los Angeles Chargers.

After Conklin suffered a concussion against the Dallas Cowboys in November, it opened up the doorway again for Kelly to start — this time against the New England Patriots in Week 10. The Titans played possibly their best game of this season — a 34-10 triumph in Nissan Stadium — and quarterback Marcus Mariota was sacked only twice, thanks in large part to this protection against Kelly and the offensive line.

Losing his father

The mysterious illness was behind him, but Kelly’s world has turned upside down again when he was excused from the Titans’ facility on Dec. 10 togo straight back again to the Chicago area to bury his daddy.

The Titans placed Conklin on reserve after that same week also Kelly returned to clinic two days after his father’s burial. He again was called upon to start at right tackle against the nyc Giants in Week 15, along with also his inner strength to accomplish this did not go undetected by teammates.

“I am very proud of him” left handle Taylor Lewan said. “Given the position he had to handle before the game, it’s tough to even put myself into those shoes. It would be tough. But he played a terrific game.”

Certainly one of the best things about football is how much of an escape it really is to get players and fans, and while he was mourning it was shown to be the ideal remedy for Kelly.

“Afterward knowing that the team has been counting on me and being forced to decide to try and catch up was a lot. The whole procedure for football… the routine and most of the structure of this, in general, keep my mind off it. But the game, especially, helped.”

Ready for starting role?

Kelly proceeded to start the next two matches to close the season out and his drama was strong enough to justify concern for a starting location in 2019. Whether this comes in address or from bumping inside to shield remains to be seen.

In his first year as Titans general director, Jon Robinson received exceptional return after trading a sour 2015 second-round pick (wide receiver Dorial GreenBeckham ) to the Philadelphia Eagles to get Kelly, a person with starting-caliber talent and it is a real illustration of just how to be a professional.

“I’ve said a few times, Dennis might be a starting tackle in this match, no problem,” Lewan said. “We’re extremely lucky to have him. I can not say enough great things man, about Dennis. I recall someone said in a interview one time that Dennis may be a pro’s true significance. He. He works also comes in every single day. And whenever he’s been called upon, he is excelled.”

Little did Robinson understand he was acquiring a person as committed. The way he fought hurdles last season demonstrated it.

The Titans need to figure out how to get him.

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