AJ Brown had a huge year for the Tennessee Titans, leading the team in receiving yards during an 11-5 season that ended in defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens on Super Wild Card Weekend. Brown caught one touchdown in the playoffs this season, but after the Titans were eliminated from the NFL Playoffs it was revealed that Brown needed surgery on both knees.
NFL News: AJ Brown's knee surgeries
Brown missed time over the course of the season with nagging injuries but managed to finish the season for the Titans. Tennessee relied on Brown as their primary receiving threat down the stretch as teams began to stack the line of scrimmage with defenders in an attempt to slow down NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry. Ryan Tannehill turned to AJ Brown early and often whenever the Titans needed a big gain or a spark for a drive that was in danger of stalling.
Brown told his Instagram followers that the Titans medical staff tried to rule him out for the season due to injury as early as week 2. Brown was unwilling to accept the diagnosis and insisted on continuing to take the field. The injuries are not thought to be major, but rather multiple smaller issues that resulted in the talented receiver needing a procedure done on both knees as soon as the season concluded.
AJ Brown's surgeries were described as clean-up operations, which generally consist of a surgeon going in to remove torn cartilage and other things that may have been weakened in the knee, and now need to be removed for the sake of mobility and pain relief.
AJ Brown's 2021 season is reportedly in no jeopardy, as the talented wideout expects to be cleared for competition within the next few weeks.
The Titans will need AJ Brown at his best if they want to surpass this year's 11-5 performance and begin playing for championships. Brown, Henry, and Tannehill comprise one of the most talented trios in the league, but all three players need each other to succeed in order for everyone to reach their potential. Like any good offense, the Titans' squad works better when everybody is clicking at the same time.
Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith just left Tennessee to go be the head coach for the Atlanta Falcons, and Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is still in the process of interviewing qualified candidates to fill the vacancy Smith left. This means that by the time AJ Brown is able to return to the field, he will likely need to learn at least a slightly different offensive scheme than the one the Titans are currently familiar with.
The good news for Brown is that an offensive coordinator should be hired quickly, allowing AJ Brown to get his hands on a playbook before he is cleared to return from his surgeries, ensuring that he hits the ground running when team activities resume.