Titans, Vrabel believe they have what they need to overcome absence of Treylon Burks

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Wk. 5 Whiteboard Wednesday: Titans vs. Commanders. Carson Wentz has been sacked a league-high 17 times this season. Let's take a look at how Tennessee can get to Wentz this week by using games up front. Video by Turron Davenport (2:20)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans suffered a crushing blow Sunday when rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks went down.

Tennessee's first-round pick was injured trying to break away from a tackle late in the fourth quarter in the Titans' 24-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts, and he was carted to the locker room before leaving Lucas Oil Stadium on crutches with a walking boot on his left foot.

Coach Mike Vrabel said the team will continue to evaluate Burks, who didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday and hasn't officially been ruled out. But the Titans have talked this week as if he won't be available.

"Missing a guy like Treylon sucks because he's so incredibly talented," receiver Cody Hollister said.

Not having Burks presents another challenge to a wide receiver group that was already thin with only five guys on the active roster.

Vrabel and the team made it clear the Titans (2-2) have everything they need in the locker room to march on.

"It gives you extra confidence," third-year receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine said of a potentially bigger opportunity. "I'm excited for this week to get rolling and attack these [defensive backs]. We have a lot of big dudes to make contested catches, so we make a play wherever [quarterback Ryan Tannehill] throws it."

Tannehill echoed those sentiments.

"Treylon is a tough guy to replace," Tannehill said, "but it gives the other guys an opportunity."

Veteran receiver Robert Woods is the most likely candidate to elevate his game with Burks missing. Woods came on strong in the last couple of games -- more than doubling his team-high season total in receiving yards (167). He had a season-high 85 receiving yards against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 3 and tied a season high for receptions with four.

His touchdown against the Colts is the only one for a Tennessee wide receiver this season.

Tannehill pointed to how Woods has "stayed consistent and on top of his details" as a reason why the ball has gone his way more than anyone else on the team (20 targets). Woods, who leads the Titans with 13 receptions, feels the two are finding a rhythm and noted that Tannehill is trusting him to beat man coverage or find a spot against zone.

Woods played mostly in the slot the last two games since rookie wideout Kyle Philips was dealing with an injured shoulder that held him out of Week 3 and forced him into a limited role against Indianapolis. Philips says his shoulder is better this week, which could mean an increased role against the Washington Commanders (1-3) on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

"If you look at those first couple of games, it was Kyle Philips who stood out as a security blanket for Tannehill," former Titans receiver Chris Sanders said. "He can move the chains, catch the choice routes and make something happen."

The Commanders, who allow the ninth-most passing yards (259.8), will have to make a decision on if they want to try to stop running back Derrick Henry, who is averaging 4.0 yards per carry, by loading the box and leaving one-on-one coverage in the secondary.

"Playing receiver, you have to take that personally if teams think that one guy can guard us man to man," Philips said. "We want to make them pay. Win one-on-one matchups."

Second-year receiver Racey McMath established himself as a potential deep threat -- as shown by his 48-yard reception against the Baltimore Ravens in the preseason. McMath is eligible to return after he missed the first four games of the regular season when he went on injured reserve with a hip injury.

The Titans signed veteran wideout Josh Gordon to the practice squad that same day, but at 31 years old, Gordon -- who has not recorded a reception this season -- is not the same player who led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013.

But Gordon could be the wild card for the Titans if they could somehow get something out of him. Gordon joined the Titans instead of staying with the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad after they released him. He felt Tennessee's receiver circumstances would be a better situation for him.

Tennessee has given Gordon the game-day elevation from the practice squad twice through four games. The Titans can only do so one more time before having to sign Gordon to the active roster to keep him in Nashville.

"All I'm trying to do is wait for my opportunity," Gordon said. "It's not me trying to implement my will into the system. I'm trying to fall into place as smoothly as possible for when I get my opportunity."

There will be opportunity without Burks, who's the team's second-leading receiver, for Gordon -- or someone -- to help elevate the league's 27th-ranked passing offense.