Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere suffered a shoulder injury during the Week 9 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers that is reportedly likely to end his season.
According to Titans beat writer Paul Kuharsky, NPF is set to have surgery on his injured shoulder that will “most likely” sideline him for the remainder of the 2023 campaign.
A 2022 third-round pick, Petit-Frere missed the first four games of the season due to a suspension for violating the league’s gambling policy and ended up losing the starting right tackle job to Chris Hubbard in the process.
NPF saw his first action in Week 6, when he replaced a struggling Andre Dillard at left tackle.
The Ohio State product then moved back to right tackle in Week 8 after Hubbard exited with an injury that forced him to miss Week 9, also. NPF played just 17 snaps before leaving the Steelers game.
In 65 pass-block snaps between left and right tackle, NPF surrendered 11 pressures and three sacks, according to Pro Football Focus.
Assuming Hubbard returns in Week 10 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Titans could deploy either Dillon Radunz or Dillard at left tackle.
There’s no question the choice should be Radunz, as he’s been good when given opportunities this season and Dillard has been an absolute disaster throughout.
If Hubbard doesn’t return, that would open the door wider for Dillard to play, but I’d prefer giving rookie Jaelyn Duncan a shot at either spot instead, and preferably at right tackle with Radunz on the left side.
Of course, we would love to see left guard Peter Skoronski get a shot at the position first, with Radunz playing left guard, but past comments by head coach Mike Vrabel make that seem unlikely.
“He’s going to be a left guard,” Vrabel said of Skoronski late last month, per Paul Kuharsky. “We think that’s going to be a really, really good position for him.”
Tennessee has more options on the practice squad in tackles Andrew Rupcich and John Ojukwu, one of whom will likely be promoted if the Titans don’t add from free agency.
Whatever the Titans decide to do, it shouldn’t include Dillard getting another chance.