The Titans have announced a flurry of roster moves via the team’s website and social media channels ahead of tonight’s season opener against the Denver Broncos.
The team placed cornerback Adoree Jackson on Injured Reserve. This is obviously not good news, as Jackson is arguably the best cornerback on their roster. The move means Jackson will miss at least three weeks. In addition to tonight’s game, he’s required to miss next week’s home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Week 3’s date with the Minnesota Vikings.
It’s tough to find the silver lining here, but if there is one, it’s that the Broncos will likely be down Courtland Sutton tonight. Looking ahead from there, the Titans secondary should be able to manage without him against the likes of Jacksonville and Minnesota. It’s important that Jackson returns to the lineup in a few weeks healthy and ready to go. Week 4’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers would make sense for Jackson to make his return to the lineup.
In a corresponding move, the Titans promoted cornerback Tye Smith to the active roster from the practice squad. Smith will take Jackson’s spot at cornerback, and should see some snaps over the next few weeks. Smith has played in 29 games for the Titans over the last three seasons.
The Titans also elevated running back Jeremy McNichols and receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine from the practice squad as the team’s 54th and 55th player on the active roster. Both players will revert back to the team’s practice squad following the game. The new CBA allows teams to basically call up two players per week from their practice squad for that week’s game. The two players will then revert back to the practice squad at the conclusion of the game.
Calling McNichols up to the active roster makes sense given that Darrynton Evans is out for tonight’s game. McNichols gives the Titans a pass-catching threat coming out of the backfield, a role that is expected to be handled by Evans this season. It keeps the Titans versatile while Evans sits on the sidelines.
The call-up of Westbrook-Ikhine is a bit of a surprise. It could mean bad news for the status of Corey Davis, who is questionable for tonight’s game. The McNichols addition makes sense, but I expected that second spot to go to an outside linebacker such as Wyatt Ray given that Vic Beasley and Derick Roberson will also be inactive tonight.
The Titans are going into tonight’s primetime showdown with just Harold Landry, Kamalei Correa, and Jadeveon Clowney at outside linebacker.