Kenny Britt's injury leaves the Tennessee Titans in a predicament.
The Titans, 2-1 over the course of the young NFL season thus far, lost their most productive player last weekend in the wide receiver Britt, who tore both his ACL and MCL in his right knee during the Titan' 17-14 victory over the Broncos.
After an offseason of legal trouble, Britt was a pleasant surprise for the Titans. The 2009 first-round draft pick was fifth in the NFL through two weeks with 289 receiving yards.
Personally from the day I got here, he was one of the guys that I really tried to invest a lot of my time and energy into, Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told The Associated Press. He's probably the most talented player on this team at any position, and he could be really special. I think he's showed glimpses of that, and he was really on fire and off to a great start. So for me, all that work, all that investment is going to have to wait.
But all is not lost for the Titans. Because Britt is not the most important player lost in their own division. That would be Peyton Manning. And that leaves their division open for the taking. Through three weeks, the Titans are tied atop the AFC South with the Texans at 2-1.
Here's a look at who will have to step up from the receiving spot for the Titans to challenge for a playoff berth:
1) Nate Washington
That Washington has been so productive thus far lessens the blow of Britt's injury. Still, he'll have to get used to being the guy. But he now leads the Titans with 21 receptions and 258 yards through three games. He is off to the fastest start by far of his seven-year career in the NFL.
2) Jared Cook
The Titans' tight end will be targeted more as a receiving option. He's never had more than 29 receptions in a season, but look for that to change. Don't believe it? Head coach Mike Munchak said he plans to use Cook more in three-receiver sets with Britt out for the year.
3) Chris Johnson
Johnson has gotten off to an abysmal start as a running back after signing a monster contract in the season following a much-publicized training camp holdout. He is averaging 2.1 yards per carry. Evidently, the Titans' pass game did not open up holes for Johnson in the running game, or he wasn't finding them. He'll have to step up both in the run game and out of the backfield on throwing downs, as he already has 91 yards receiving on the year.