Earns larger role

Offensive coordinator Todd Downing said Thursday that Okonkwo has earned more opportunities, and the Titans have looked at drawing up more ways to get him the football, Turron Davenport of ESPN.com reports.

Austin Hooper remains the Titans' starting tight end and continues to hold an important role as a blocker and short-yardage target, but Okonkwo, a fourth-round rookie out of Maryland, appears poised to poach more work from both Hooper and Geoff Swaim. For the first time all season in the Week 13 loss to the Eagles, Okonkwo played more snaps (31) than both Hooper (26) and Swaim (20), finishing the day with four receptions for 68 yards on five targets. Okonkwo has now drawn five targets in consecutive games, and the big-play ability he's demonstrated -- he leads all NFL tight ends with three 40-yard receptions this season -- has him in position to see even more involvement in the passing game. The Titans could look to Okonkwo for snaps as a wide receiver, given that the position group is already short on impact contributors and could be further depleted this Sunday against the Jaguars with Treylon Burks in the concussion protocol and uncertain to be available.

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