Delanie Walker reportedly out for season after suffering gruesome leg injury vs. Dolphins

The Tennessee Titans are only one game into their 2018 season and things are already going from bad to worse.

According to ESPN.com, Delanie Walker is expected to miss the rest of the 2018 season after breaking his right ankle during the Titans' 27-20 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday. Walker also suffered some ligament damage on the same play where he injured his ankle.  

The injury took place with just under four minutes to left in the fourth quarter. On a first-and-10 play for the Titans, Blaine Gabbert hit Walker on a crossing route that went for a 15-yard gain. After Walker caught the ball, Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald came up to make the tackle and Walker's ankle got caught underneath him. 

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Delanie Walker's right foot got caught underneath T.J. McDonald. Fox/NFL

After suffering the injury, Walker's leg was put in an aircast and he was carted off the field.  

Although the Titans didn't know the extent of the injury after the game, coach Mike Vrabel seemed to know it was serious. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with him," Vrabel said, via ESPN.com. 

The loss of Walker is an absolute blow for the Titans' offense. The tight end has led the team in receptions in each of the past three years and has been one of Marcus Mariota's favorite targets over that span. Against the Dolphins, Walker had caught four passes for 52 yards before leaving the game. 

Walker is such a vital part of the team's offense that the Titans signed the 34-year-old to a two-year extension in July

With Walker now out for the season, second-year tight end Jonnu Smith should expect to see a larger role in the team's offense. The 2017 third-round pick caught one pass for 12 yards against the Dolphins. During his rookie year in 2017, Smith totaled 18 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns. 

The loss of Walker continues a rough opening week for the Titans. Not only did they have to deal with the longest weather delay in NFL history, which led to the longest game ever, but the Titans are also dealing with multiple injuries. Marcus Mariota (elbow) and starting tackle Taylor Lewan (concussion) were both forced to leave Sunday's game

Vrabel said on Monday that Mariota is "looking good," but is still being evaluated. As for Lewan, he's currently in concussion protocol and won't be allowed to play again until he's been cleared. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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