NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - In a story Sept. 20 about Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker, The Associated Press, relying on information from the Titans, reported erroneously that Walker is 49 yards shy of becoming the NFL’s seventh active tight end to reach 5,000 yards receiving his career. Benjamin Watson with Baltimore became the seventh last week to reach that mark last week.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Tight end Delanie Walker flourishing in Tennessee
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker needs 49 yards to become the seventh active tight end in the NFL with 5,000 career yards receiving, and he ranks fourth in the league with 2,915 yards since the start of the 2014 season
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Pro Football Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Timing and location can mean everything during an NFL career. Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker knows that firsthand.
Walker started his NFL career in San Francisco where Vernon Davis was the 49ers’ sixth pick overall, while Walker was a sixth-round pick out of Central Missouri State. After seven seasons and an appearance in the Super Bowl, Walker chose to sign with the Titans as a free agent where he has become one of the NFL’s most productive tight ends.
With the change in teams, Walker now is a two-time Pro Bowl tight end who needs just 49 yards to become the eighth active tight end with 5,000 yards receiving for his career. Walker ranks fourth in the league behind Greg Olsen, Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski for the most yards receiving among tight ends since the start of the 2014 season with 2,915.
“We play this game to be recognized in certain situations so for me to be recognized in that situation, it goes a long way,” Walker said. “It shows that everything I’ve done paid off.”
Still, his production since joining Tennessee in 2013 is enough to make Walker wonder what might have been.
“Imagine if I would’ve been a starter earlier in my career where I would be at,” Walker said. “Sometimes when I hear these stats and I sit back and realize what I did in just four years, it’s kind of upsetting a little bit. But I’m happy to be where I’m at now.”
The Titans are very happy to have Walker with the 33-year-old tight end under contract through 2018. After posting 123 catches for 1,465 yards and eight touchdowns with San Francisco, Walker has 293 catches for 3,486 yards and 23 TDs.
The 6-foot-2 tight end debuted with career-highs in 2013 catching 60 passes for 571 yards and six touchdowns and has improved in most categories since then. Walker earned his first Pro Bowl nod in 2015 when he led all tight ends with 94 receptions, which tied him with Dallas’ Jason Witten for 10th-most in a single season by a tight end.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll watched Walker in the NFC West and will see him Sunday when the Seahawks (1-1) visit the Titans (1-1).
“He got somewhat overshadowed earlier on,” Carroll said. “He was always a good player and always a problem in matchups. I think when he got out from under, he’s done everything that you would hope that he would do. Terrific player, terrific target, and someone that we have problems with.”
Walker, listed at 248 pounds, says he lost about 10 pounds this offseason reducing his body fat down to 6 percent by cutting out pork and limiting red meat. The candy stashed in his locker is for teammates, not himself. After being asked to weigh a bit more to help with run blocking in 2016, Walker said he didn’t feel himself and got tired faster.
“So I wanted to try something, and I think it’s paying off,” Walker said.
Walker scored the first rushing TD of his career in last week’s 37-16 win over Jacksonville on a jet sweep. He also led the team with four catches for 61 yards.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey says he’s noticed Walker has looked faster and called him a “physical specimen.”
“All around, he’s been just much more of a complete player and doesn’t want to come off the field, which gives defenses problems,” Mularkey said. “They can get a beat on you when you’re running and throwing, they can’t do that right now with Delanie in there.”
The Titans coach also isn’t considering joining Walker in giving up pork.
“Here in Nashville? No,” Mularkey quipped.
Notes: Mularkey said rookie WR Corey Davis (hamstring) will miss Sunday’s game. RB DeMarco Murray (hamstring) is day to day and hopefully will play Sunday. Mularkey said LB Aaron Wallace, placed on IR earlier Wednesday, will have back surgery Thursday.
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