Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos Preview and Predictions 09-15-2020

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The Denver Broncos rode the play of Von Miller to a Super Bowl title in 2016, but if they have any dreams of battling for a championship this season it will likely be without the All-Pro linebacker.

Their season kicks off at home Monday night in an empty Empower Field at Mile High against the Tennessee Titans, the final game of Week 1.

Miller was injured late in practice Tuesday, and an MRI on Wednesday revealed a dislocated peroneal tendon in his ankle. NFL Network reported that Miller will undergo surgery and miss the 2020 season.

Denver was dealt another blow Thursday when the team's No. 1 receiver, Courtland Sutton, left practice with an apparent right shoulder injury. Sutton fell awkwardly after reaching for a high pass and went to the locker room.

He was having an MRI on the shoulder late Thursday. Sutton was listed on the team's first injury report as limited in practice.

If he misses any time it would deprive quarterback Drew Lock of his favorite target late last season and throughout training camp. Sutton had 72 receptions for 1,112 yards and six TDs in 2019, his second NFL season.

Miller is the heart of the Broncos' defense and was a key factor in the game plan against Titans running back Derrick Henry. Henry has become one of the best bruising backs in the league, and he nearly carried Tennessee to the Super Bowl last February before the Titans lost in the AFC title game at Kansas City.

The Broncos held Henry to 28 yards on 15 carries in a 16-0 win in Denver last October. The loss was a turning point for the Titans, who benched QB Marcus Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill and went 7-3 the rest of the way en route to the AFC Championship game.

The Broncos got some good news when linebacker Bradley Chubb, who missed most of 2019 after tearing his left ACL last September, practiced Wednesday and Thursday after missing a week with a knee injury.

"He came through yesterday's practice very good. He looked better. Just as importantly, he woke up feeling better too than he had been," Denver head coach Vic Fangio said. "That's always critical, too."

While the Broncos are losing defensive players, the Titans are adding them, specifically defensive end and former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, who was signed to a one-year deal on Sunday. The addition of Clowney will improve Tennessee's pass rush.

Clowney began practicing this week and bolsters a unit that added linebacker Vic Beasley in the offseason. Beasley was activated from the non-football injury list Saturday but was a limited participant in practice on Thursday.

Safety Kenny Vaccaro (non-injury related), outside linebacker Derick Roberson (knee) and offensive lineman Jamil Douglas (hand) did not practice Thursday while wide receiver Corey Davis and running back Darrynton Evans were limited participants due to hamstring injuries.

The Titans hope they solidified their kicking game with the signing of veteran Stephen Gostkowski in the offseason. Gostkowski was New England's longtime kicker and won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, also playing in two other title games.

"When my time ended in New England and the pandemic hit, we had a lot of time to think about what we wanted to do, whether we wanted to stay up there or move back down south closer to family," he said recently. "My wife got on the internet and started looking at houses, and Nashville, it seems like a great place to raise a family."

Miller's injury overshadows the revamped Denver offense.

Lock took over in late 2019 and had a solid finish to his rookie season, completing 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns over the final five games. The Broncos went 4-1 in those games to finish 7-9.

The Broncos added running back Melvin Gordon III and drafted receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. Jeudy is expected to make an immediate impact while Hamler is dealing with a hamstring injury.

Hamler was limited in practices this week, his first action since Aug. 19. Inside linebacker Mark Barron (hamstring) did not practice Thursday. Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (ankle) and offensive guard Graham Glasgow (ankle) were both limited.

--Field Level Media

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Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Denver, Colorado, USA.
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Last Injuries

Denver Broncos

  • Derrek Tuszka

    day-to-day | questionable

    Tuszka was forced from the last game with a hamstring injury, and it remains to be seen if he will face the Chargers in Week 8.

  • Mike Purcell

    out for season | out

    Purcell will miss the remainder of the 2020 season with a Lisfranc fracture in his foot.

  • Diontae Spencer

    day-to-day | questionable

    Spencer sat out the previous game with a shoulder injury, and it remains to be seen if he will face the Chargers in Week 8.

  • Phillip Lindsay

    day-to-day | questionable

    Lindsay exited the previous game with a concussion, and it is unknown if he will clear protocol in time to to face the Chargers in Week 8.

  • Tim Patrick

    day-to-day | questionable

    Patrick departed the previous contest with a hamstring injury, and it is undetermined if he will line up Week 8 against the Chargers.

  • Andrew Beck

    day-to-day | questionable

    Beck was absent from the lineup in the previous contest with a hamstring injury, and it is undetermined if he will be available Week 8 against the Chargers.

  • Jake Butt

    day-to-day | questionable

    Butt missed the last contest due to a hamstring injury, and it is unclear if he will dress for Week 8 versus the Chargers.

  • Jeremiah Attaochu

    day-to-day | questionable

    Attaochu has missed the last three games with a quad injury, and it is unclear if he will play Wek 8 versus the Chargers.

Tennessee Titans

  • Kristian Fulton

    Out indefinitely | out

    Fulton is on the shelf with a knee injury, and he will miss an undetermined length of time.

  • Jadeveon Clowney

    day-to-day | questionable

    Clowney was lifted from the last game with a knee injury, leaving his status against the Bengals in Week 8 uncertain.

  • DaQuan Jones

    Prob Sun | probable

    Jones is nursing a foot injury, but he is projected to suit up against the Steelers on Sunday.

  • Dennis Kelly

    Prob Sun | probable

    Kelly is dealing with a knee injury, but he is likely to line up Sunday versus the Steelers.

  • Jonnu Smith

    Prob Sun | probable

    Smith departed the last contest with an ankle sprain, but it is anticipated that he will face the Steelers on Sunday.

  • Jadeveon Clowney

    Prob Sun | probable

    Clowney has a knee injury, but he is expected to play Sunday against the Steelers.

  • A.J. Brown

    Prob Sun | probable

    Brown is hampered by a knee injury, but it is not expected to keep him out of Sunday's game versus the Steelers.

  • Dane Cruikshank

    Prob Sun | probable

    Cruikshank has been activated from the injured reserve list after recovering from an unspecified injury, and he is likely to return against the Steelers on Sunday.