|Ht / Wt:||6'1" / 242 lb.|
|Born:||August 12, 1984|
|Drafted:||2006 / Rd. 6 (175)|
Walker (ankle) is training for the upcoming season and has received interest from several teams, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Fowler specifically mentions the Patriots, who already appeared shaky at tight end before Matt LaCosse opted out of the 2020 campaign. Walker will turn 36 in August after suffering major injuries to his right ankle both of the past two years, but he could be a fit for a specialized role on passing downs. He reached the 800-yard mark in four straight seasons from 2014 to 2017, earning three Pro Bowl nods during that stretch. Walker should be healthy at this point, considering he had surgery back in mid-December.
The 49ers have discussed signing either Walker (ankle) or Jordan Reed, Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: This is the first report of interest in Walker, who was cut by Tennessee in March after missing the final nine games of last season with an ankle injury that required surgery in December. It was the same ankle he fractured and dislocated in Week 1 of 2018, an incident that ended his 11-year streak playing 15 or more games. The tight end will turn 36 in August and may need to battle for a roster spot if/when he signs with a team. The 49ers are looking for a veteran to join George Kittle and Ross Dwelley in their TE room.
The Titans released Walker (ankle) on Friday, Jim Wyatt of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Walker's release frees up $6.4 million in cap space for the Titans. The longtime standout tight end had previously logged four straight seasons with more than 800 receiving yards from 2014-17, during which time he was a staple of Tennessee's offense, but back-to-back injury-plagued campaigns limited him to just eight of the last 32 regular-season games. In 2019, the 35-year-old had just 21 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns across seven appearances, before he was forced to undergo season-ending ankle surgery December. In Walker's absence, Jonnu Smith is now poised to operate as the clear No. 1 tight end in Tennessee's offense during the 2020 season.
Walker (ankle) may be a cap casualty this offseason, John Glennon of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Walker is a well-known team leader and one of the longest-tenured players with the Titans, but it's hard to argue that he's more valuable than the $6.4 million in cap space his release would create. He'll celebrate his 36th birthday in August, hoping to rebound from back-to-back seasons on injured reserve. Meanwhile, young tight ends Jonnu Smith and Anthony Firkser have emerged as valuable pieces in the Tennessee offense. Any shot of another season with the Titans probably requires Walker to accept a pay cut, or at least a short extension to lower his 2020 cap hit. He had season-ending surgery in December to address an ankle injury.
Walker confirmed Friday that he would undergo a procedure next week to address his injured right ankle, Turron Davenport of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Walker was placed on injured reserve last week after the ankle issue had prevented him from playing in each of the prior four contests. Despite appearing in just eight total contests over the past two campaigns due to a pair of season-ending ankle injuries, Walker has indicated he intends to keep his career going in 2020, when he'll be 36 years old.
Walker (ankle) has no interest in retiring at the end of the season, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports. "This is not the end for me," Walker said on Tuesday. "This is a setback. And if anyone knows the type injury I had, it ain't easy to come back and play at a high level like I do. I just want to get it fixed and be ready for next year. I still have a year on my contract, and I am a Titan. So as long as the team, the organization, wants me here and believes in me, I am always going to be a Titan."
Analysis: Walker landed on injured reserve last week due to a nagging ankle injury connected to surgery he underwent last year. The veteran tight end recorded 21 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns across seven appearances this season. A staple of the Titans' offense for the past seven years, Walker is currently eighth on the team's all time receptions list -- a total he'll hope to add to in 2020.
Walker (ankle) has been placed on IR by the Titans.
Analysis: With that, Walker's 2019 campaign ends with 21 catches for 215 yards and two TDs in seven game. In his continued absence, Jonnu Smith, MyCole Pruitt and Anthony Firkser will continue to head the Titans' tight end corps.
Walker (ankle) is inactive for Sunday's Week 12 tilt against the Jaguars.
Analysis: Walker carried a doubtful designation heading into the contest, so his inactive status was expected. His fourth straight absence will afford Jonnu Smith another opportunity as the top tight end option for Ryan Tannehill.
Walker (ankle) is considered doubtful for Sunday's game against the Jaguars, Turron Davenport of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: After practicing in a limited capacity all week, Walker seemed to be trending toward active status for the first time since Week 7. Coach Mike Vrabel even told Erik Bacharach of The Tennessean on Friday that Walker is "better than he was. ... I think it's certainly much better than anytime it's been." Nevertheless, the Titans will exercise caution with the veteran tight end as he continues to recover from the same ankle that dealt him a season-ending dislocation in 2018.
Walker (ankle) remained limited at Thursday's practice.
Analysis: Per Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site, Walker -- who last suited up Oct. 13 -- sounded "optimistic about his chances moving forward" following his return to practice Wednesday. "I will use the word excited," Walker noted. "I am excited with the progress, and we'll see what happens." Meanwhile, Wyatt adds that the tight end "was wearing a knee brace earlier in the week to take pressure off the ankle, but by Wednesday he'd ditched it." We'll check back on on Walker's status Friday to see if he's listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Jaguars or removed from the team's Week 12 injury report altogether.
Walker (ankle) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, Erik Bacharach of The Tennessean reports.
Analysis: Walker has missed Tennessee's last three contests, and his return to practice -- albeit in a limited capacity -- represents tangible progress in his recovery coming off the team's bye. The veteran tight end will have two more opportunities to upgrade his level of practice ahead of Sunday's tilt against Jacksonville. If Walker indeed manages to retake the field Week 12, expect Jonnu Smith and Anthony Firkser and see their workloads reduced.
Walker (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chargers after not practicing Friday, Turron Davenport of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Walker was limited both Wednesday and Thursday, so his downgrade in participation Friday is notable, though it's possible that that it could have been maintenance-related, as opposed to indicative of a setback. If he's limited or out this weekend, Jonnu Smith would be a candidate for added tight end targets in Week 7.
Walker (ankle) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.
Analysis: Limited for both of the Titans' first two sessions of Week 7, Walker may need to upgrade to full participation Friday if he hopes to avoid carrying a designation into Sunday's game against the Chargers. In addition to managing the ankle issue, Walker will have to adapt to a new quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, who will make his first career start with the Titans following the benching of Marcus Mariota.
Walker (ankle) was limited at practice Wednesday, Turron Davenport of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Walker has been managing a knee issue over the past few weeks, so his listed ankle injury is something new. We'll circle back Thursday to see if his limitations Wednesday were maintenance-related or indicative of a setback that could impact his status for Sunday's game against the Chargers. Walker logged 38 of a possible 66 snaps on offense in Week 6's 16-0 loss to the Broncos, en route to hauling in three of his six targets for 43 yards. If he is able to play this weekend, he'll be catching passes from a new starting QB, with Ryan Tannehill having replaced Marcus Mariota in that capacity.
Walker hauled in three of his six targets for 43 yards in Week 6 against Denver.
Analysis: After disappearing from the offense in the past two weeks, Walker bounced back to put together his second-highest yardage total of the season. Notably, he hauled in a 17-yard reception from Marcus Mariota late in the second quarter and followed that up with an 18-yard reception from Ryan Tannehill as the team attempted a rally late in the fourth quarter. It's important that Walker was involved in the offense with both Tannehill and Mariota under center, as it's unclear who will be delivering passes to Walker in Week 7 as the Titans take on the Chargers.
Walker (knee) returned to a full practice Thursday.
Analysis: Walker has caught just one pass in each of his last two games, but the veteran tight end averaged seven targets over the Titans' first three outings, so there's hope that he can engineer a bounce-back effort Sunday against the 4-1 Broncos.
Walker (knee) didn't practice Wednesday, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.
Analysis: That's the third straight Wednesday Walker has sat out practice, but last week he followed that up with full sessions Thursday and Friday before starting Sunday's loss to the Bills. Walker has caught just one pass in each of his last two games, but the veteran tight end is bound to see an uptick in production in the coming weeks, so long as he's able to remain healthy enough to play.
Walker hauled in one of two targets for 10 yards in Week 5 against Buffalo.
Analysis: Walker appeared to get off to a hot start, hauling in a 26-yard pass from Marcus Mariota on the first play of the game. However, it was negated by a holding call, and the pair were never able to get back on track from there. Walker has now gotten only two targets in consecutive weeks after being targeted at least six times in each of the team's first three games. The Titans' desire to control the ball and work at a slower pace on offense is limiting the upside of most skill-position players -- Walker included. The team isn't particularly likely to get into a high-scoring shootout in Week 6 at Denver, so it's difficult to trust that Walker will see an uptick in volume in the near future.
Walker (knee) returned to a full practice Thursday, Erik Bacharach of The Tennessean reports.
Analysis: Walker is thus slated to suit up for Sunday's game against the Bills. He's coming off a quiet Week 4 effort (one catch on two targets for four yards), but despite that, the tight end still leads the Titans in both catches (17) and targets (23) through the team's first four contests.
Walker (knee) didn't practice Wednesday, Erik Bacharach of The Tennessean reports.
Analysis: Walker started last week with back-to-back missed sessions, before returning to a full practice Friday. With no reported setback since Sunday's 24-10 win over the Falcons, we suspect that his absence Wednesday was maintenance-related. The tight end logged 19 of a possible 62 snaps on offense in Week 4, en route to catching one of his two targets for four yards.
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