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Titans TE Delanie Walker expects to play this week

Delanie Walker, Titans

The Tennessee Titans are getting a boost to their offense. 35-year-old tight end Delanie Walker — who broke his ankle in 2018 debut — expects to play on Saturday, against the New England Patriots, per Jim Wyatt of the Titans official website.

“I’m thankful to be on this team and have the coach [Mike Vrabel] that we have at head coach. He’s really getting me the opportunity to recover. He knows that I take care of my body, and I’m a pro at it. So, thank you for him because he’s really getting me to the opportunity to recover and play Week 1,” Walker told Wyatt.

Walkers’ Week 1 ankle-break, against the Miami Dolphins, forced him to miss the entirety of his 13th NFL season. The injury needed surgery, luckily there have been no setbacks, and he’s ready to roll. Walker practiced on Thursday after a few maintenance days.

Before 2018, Walker was one of the NFL’s most consistent star tight ends. Between 2015 and 2017, he made three-straight Pro Bowls. He hasn’t recorded less than 800 receiving yards in a full season since 2013; his first year in Tennessee.

In his last full season of play (2017), Walker recorded 65 receptions for 800 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns. For his career (split between the San Francisco 49ers and Titans), Walker has tallied 483 receptions for 5,673 yards and 34 touchdowns. His productive career came on the heels of being a sixth-round wide receiver selection in 2006.

The Titans gave quarterback Marcus Mariota some help in the offseason — by adding Adam Humphries, Roger Saffold III, and A.J. Brown — and the readdition of Walker reaffirms that.