One method of identifying players who are less important than others on the roster is by looking at the lists of players who were inactive on gamedays. Of course, players sometimes don’t play for other reasons, such as injuries.
When injuries are not the reason for players missing games, it gives us some insight into the thinking of the coaching staff.
Following is the number of games (both regular season and playoffs) players were listed as inactive last year. Following that are my observations.
Chris Henry – inactive for 16 games: The former second-round draft pick has been a bust and the Titans coaching staff has acknowledged as much by not suiting him up sixteen times. His only appearance came in the scrimmage against the Colts in the regular season finale.
Michael Otto – 15 games: I don’t read too much into this. Otto was the eighth man on an o-line that has for years only activated seven players for the 45-man gameday roster. David Stewart missed all 16 games in his rookie year.
Chris Simms – 11 games: Suited up as the third quarterback in all 11 games.
Paul Williams – 11 games: Another bust (see Henry), Williams was a healthy scratch for ten games.
Chris Davis – 10 games: (See Paul Williams.)
William Hayes – seven games: Similar to Otto’s situation, Hayes was the last defensive end in the pecking order.
Kyle Vanden Bosch – six games: Missed all six games with a groin injury.
Reynaldo Hill – five games: Was on the injury report two of those weeks and missed the other three games due to coaches’ decisions.
Tyrone Poole – five games: A late addition to the roster for depth/insurance purposes.
Kevin Vickerson – five games: Was the last man in the defensive tackle rotation.
Colin Allred – four games: All games were missed due to injuries.
Justin Gage – four games: (See Colin Allred.)
Quinton Ganther – three games: Ditto.
Nick Harper – three games: Sidelined all three games with ankle or hip injuries.
Lavelle Hawkins – three games: Hawk didn’t miss a game after Week Four.
Jason Jones – three games: A foot injury sidelined him three weeks in a row but he continued to improve after his return.
Stanford Keglar – three games: A healthy scratch all three times. Like Hawkins, he was on the 45-man roster every game since the fourth week.
Vince Young – three games: Was injured in the season opener and not activated for the following three weeks.
Eleven other Titan players missed either one or two games last season.
In my opinion, Henry, Williams and Davis will all have difficulty surviving the final cut in training camp this summer. What are your feelings about the players who weren’t active for multiple games last season?