Delanie Walker using injury as motivation

Getty Images

Some players shy away from evidence of past injuries.

Titans tight end Delanie Walker watched his badly broken right ankle repeatedly, without looking away.

This is going to be my motivation year,” Walker said, via Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website “I always say that I am motivated every year, but coming off an injury like that and then me being 35 [in August] going into next season, I’ll be extra motivated. I feel like this is the year I need to show everyone I came back from an injury, I’m 35, and I am still the best tight end in the NFL.”

While there’s a reasonable question about whether he can “still” be the best (he was quite good previously, if not quite Gronkowski), returning to his previous form would be a solid start.

Walker caught 74 passes for 807 yards and three touchdowns and made his third straight Pro Bowl, and he has been a consistent producer for them each of his five healthy seasons. The Titans ran out of help at the position last year (Jonnu Smith finished the year on IR as well), and getting those two back will be a major boost for a team that was close to playoff level.

Walker will still be limited through OTAs, but at his age, that’s probably a good plan anyway.