Julio Jones missed Week 4 against the New York Jets, and his absence showed. The Tennessee Titans were also without his co-star, A.J. Brown, in that game. The Titans had to rely on Derrick Henry more than ever, giving him 33 carries. It wasn't enough, and the Titans lost to the Jets in overtime.
A.J. Brown is healthy and returning to the lineup in Week 5. But the same can't be said about Julio Jones. Jones is still nursing his way back from a hamstring injury suffered in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Titans WR Julio Jones will not play against the Jacksonville Jaguars
Julio Jones will miss the Titans' divisional game against the Jacksonville Jaguars as a result. Jones is 32 years old and has been an iron man for the majority of his career. From 2014 through 2019, he missed just four games. Even when he was dealing with injuries that caused him to miss practice, he played in the games.
Last season, Jones suffered a hamstring injury that lingered throughout the season. He missed seven games in 2020 and is dealing with yet another hamstring injury in 2021. Julio Jones was Tennessee's biggest acquisition in the offseason, so the Titans are playing it cautiously.
The Titans should handle business but need to evolve on offense.
There's never a good time to be injured in the NFL. But if there was ever a time the Titans could survive without Julio Jones, it's against a Jaguars team wrapped in controversy. The Jaguars have struggled on offense this year, but they've been even worse defensively.
The Jaguars have given up 28.8 points per game this year, which is 28th in the league. Their defense lacks talent, especially after trading away CJ Henderson. Myles Jack has regressed, and they haven't been able to generate pressure on the quarterback.
Although Tennessee should handle business, the passing offense needs to evolve. The Titans' offense in 2021 has been stale in comparison to what they ran last year. There's been less play-action and less creativity in play calling.
ALSO READArticle Continues below
The downgrade from Arthur Smith to Todd Downing always made it so there was a chance this would happen. Ryan Tannehill is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and his skill set isn't being properly utilized. Having Brown back in the lineup helps. But the Titans need to take more shots downfield.
Henry might be the only running back in the NFL who can handle having 113 carries through four games. But the Titans need to think long-term and rely more on the passing attack. Jones is a big loss, but the Titans should be okay against the Jaguars.