DeAndre Hopkins landed himself on the Tennessee Titans injury report on Wednesday with an apparent ankle injury. Hopkins was targeted 13 times in his first game with the Titans on Sunday against the Saints. He was absent from practice on Wednesday.
DeAndre Hopkins Injury Update
Hopkins apparently injured his ankle on the final offensive play of the game for the Titans. Although the camera wasn’t panned out enough to see the full extent of things, there was an obvious limp as he trotted off the field for fourth down.
DeAndre Hopkins appears to have hurt his left ankle on the #Titans last offensive play of the game, taking an awkward tackle from Demario Davis.
You can see him running off on the broadcast, but it’s poor framing to appreciate any limp that may be there.
— Easton Freeze (@eastonfreeze) September 13, 2023
Hopkins is now 31 and has an extensive injury history. He’s suffered knee sprains, a torn MCL, a hamstring strain, a rib injury, a lower back sprain, and an ankle sprain, all since the start of 2020.
But despite all of that — and a suspension for violating the NFL’s PED policy — Hopkins has remained one of the most effective pass catchers in the NFL. In 36 games since 2020, he averaged 76.7 yards per game and 8.3 yards per target.
Maybe Tim Kelly is more to blame than Hopkins for getting away from the Titans’ usual formula in Week 1 (even though it seemed to be working). However, his physical talent makes teams want to force the ball his way.
So while it’s never a good thing for arguably your best offensive player to get banged up, this seemingly minor injury could get the Titans offense back to their roots: Take the responsibility away from Ryan Tannehill, hand the ball off, and run play action instead of dropping back to pass.
Update: Hopkins didn’t practice for the second straight day on Thursday. The veteran WR continues nursing the ankle injury he sustained on the Titans’ final offensive play Sunday.
Fantasy Football Impact of Hopkins’ Injury
– Analysis from PFN Fantasy Analyst Jason Katz
After one game, there is no debate about who the target hog is of the Titans’ WR corps. It’s Hopkins, who commanded a whopping 13 targets in his debut with the team. While Hopkins finished the game just fine, he popped up on Wednesday’s injury report with an ankle issue.
It’s too early to panic about Hopkins potentially missing Sunday’s contest, but if he did, it would put the underwhelming sophomore Treylon Burks in line for WR1 duties.
Burks commanded just three targets against the Saints, catching two for 18 yards. While he played 90% of the snaps, Burks was severely outproduced by Nick Westbook-Ikhine. If DHop can’t go this week, fantasy managers should pump the brakes on vaulting Burks up to fantasy starter status.
The biggest beneficiary may actually be TE Chig Okonkwo, who is coming off a career-high 83% snap share. He could be in line for a much better performance than his 0-0 on two targets last week.