Titans fans were just hoping that the team could stay healthy in training camp this year as players report tomorrow. However, camp is already off to a bad start with the news that broke today. Star left tackle Taylor Lewan tested positive for ostarine earlier in the offseason and could miss the first month of the season. Lewan broke the news himself on Twitter in an emotional video.
Thank you to everyone who sees this video and supports me. My family and I are so grateful to the Tennessee Titans organization and fans for your support. I will post the polygraph information next. #NoBadDays pic.twitter.com/lE9iEMmLxw
— Taylor Lewan (@TaylorLewan77) July 24, 2019
The polygraph information that Lewan refers to in the video has been released and states that he has never knowingly ingested performance enhancing drugs. However, these results will, most likely, not affect the length of his suspension. This would be a key loss for the Titans, who are looking to take the next step towards contending this season. Lewan signed a 5-year, $80 million deal last offseason.
What happens now?
Lewan is having his ‘Sample B’ tested and those results will determine whether the suspension is officially put in place or not. If the second test matches the results of the first, he will be suspended for the first four games of the season. He can appeal the decision, but there isn’t usually any wiggle room when it comes to PEDs.
The Titans are one of the better prepared teams for a situation like this with Dennis Kelly as a reliable third tackle. Kelly played in 11 games last season and started five in relief of Lewan and right tackle Jack Conklin. If Conklin can return to his 2016 form when he was an first-team All-Pro as a rookie, the line may be able to survive the first month.
The September Gauntlet of Pass Rushers
Unfortunately for the Titans, the first four games aren’t the best options to be missing their best offensive lineman. In Week 1, Myles Garrett, who Lewan had a pretty good game against two years ago, will be coming after quarterback Marcus Mariota. Tennessee faces the Colts in Week 2 who don’t have an elite pass rusher. However, in Weeks 3 and 4, the Titans will send Conklin and Kelly against Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, Takk McKinley, and Vic Beasley.
In a season where the Titans need Mariota to stay healthy, he may be taking more hits than expected early in the season with Lewan out of the lineup. Kelly is better than most team’s third tackles, but he is no Taylor Lewan. Now, it becomes even more important that the rest of the team stays healthy throughout training camp. Tennessee has already taken the first major blow of the season.