The Tennessee Titans are on the cusp of NFL history, although it’s the kind of milestone no team will ever brag about.
In Sunday’s 23-21 win over the New Orleans Saints, the Titans used their 82nd player of the season — two shy of the NFL’s single-season record set by the 2019 Miami Dolphins and 2020 San Francisco 49ers.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said it’s a safe bet Tennessee will pass that record with ease in the not-too-distant future.
“I told the Sunday Night [Football] crew, we were in L.A., I think Cris Collinsworth said, ‘You guys are at 77 and the record is 84,’” Vrabel said. “I said, ‘You might want to take the over. Just a hunch.’”
The Titans currently have 16 players on their reserve/injured list — nearly one-fourth of the team’s available players — six of which are either starters or have started a game this year, including running back Derrick Henry, receiver Julio Jones, cornerback Caleb Farley, linebackers Derick Roberson and Rashad Weaver, safety Dane Cruikshank and kicker Sam Ficken.
Of the 82 players Tennessee has used this season, only 14 have played in all 10 games this year — nine on the defensive side of the ball.
“That is kind of how this league goes,” Vrabel said. “We have the elevations, and we are trying to use the rules to our advantage, which we have had to. We have had to bring guys up, have had to promote guys from the practice squad.
“When they sign early in the week or if they are on the practice squad for multiple weeks, come in every Wednesday and say, ‘Hey, prepare like you are going to be a starter. Prepare like you are going to play in the football game.’ Because guys that do that and they are ready for their opportunity get more opportunities.”
The silver lining, however, is Tennessee is the only team to play 80 or more players in a season and have a winning record; the other four teams had a collective 18-61-1 record.
Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_