NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Barring an injury to a starting tackle or guard in the next 10 days, Tennessee Titans first-round pick Taylor Lewan is primed to be playing on special teams and a spectator when the offense is on the field when the team opens the season in Kansas City on Sept. 7.
“It’s not over 'til it’s over, so I’ll keep competing,” he said on Tuesday.
But if that is the way it plays out?
“Yeah, I’m not going to be excited about it,” Lewan said. “But it’s a unique situation. Most teams don’t have the opportunity to draft a tackle in the first round and also have two outstanding offensive linemen. I’ve been competing in camp and working on it and we’ll see."
Left tackle Michael Roos is in the final year of his contract, his 10th with the franchise. Right tackle Michael Oher was signed to a four-year deal as a free agent from Baltimore, well before the draft, when the Titans were surprised to get Lewan at No. 11 in the first round.
Lewan hasn't really had a chance to challenge for a starting job, and the bulk of his first-team work came at left guard for the stretch of camp at the start when Andy Levitre was recovering from an appendectomy.
It's clear Lewan would be the lineman of choice to replace not only Roos and Oher, but Levitre and starting right guard Chance Warmack if any of them became unavailable.
But as long as all of them are healthy, Lewan will be limited to a role as a special-teams player and perhaps a sixth lineman in a jumbo package for short-yardage blocking.
“Any situation I can possibly be on the field, I’ll be on the field,” he said. “Psychologically, I’m going to overcome it. When I get my opportunity, I’m going to do whatever I can to be successful and thrive.”