NFL teams have to trim their roster’s down to 53 players by 3:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday. The Titans have already begun releasing players and making other movers to get to that final number. They may not have been the first to break today’s transactions, but AtoZ Sports was the first on my timeline.
The Game Bodies
Freedom Akinmoladun, Cassh Maluia, and Nate Brooks were all guys recently signed by the Titans over the last two weeks. They were obviously preseason game bodies to be able to provide relief from players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and others needing rest.
In my latest article about snap counts and what they may tell you about the final 53, I said there wouldn’t be much value in having John Simon take up a roster spot. He was wholly unremarkable and doesn’t have near the upside of the younger players at his position. This was pretty much a no-brainer in my mind.
Don’t Geather Around
Clayton Geathers being released is mildly surprising. I noted that his snap counts went way down when Matthias Farley came back for the third preseason game. Geathers and Bradley McDougald were both signed the week leading into the Tampa game, and they both put on a show down in Florida.
However, they came crashing back down to earth Saturday as both players were in the bottom three of all Titans defenders in terms of PFF grading. I feel at this point Farley’s spot is secure because of his value as a special teamer. So it’s down to the explosive Jamal Carter, the veteran McDougald, and the oft-injured, hardly available Dane Cruikshank for that final spot at safety.
The Running Back
Brian Hill was put on Injured Reserve today by the Titans, ending his 2021 season. Somewhat surprising that of the two running backs who went down with an injury Saturday, he was the one put on IR. That bodes well for the health of Mehki Sargent.
Brian Hill was a free agent acquisition this offseason, coming over from Atlanta. Last year in spot duty, he proved to be an offensive asset for the Falcons in relief of Todd Gurley. So it was somewhat surprising that this preseason, he showed nothing that resembled the player he was in Atlanta.
Ben Jones was put on the Reserve/COVID-19 list today. No word as of this writing what caused him to go on the list, so we won’t speculate at this time. However, Jon Robinson did say that 97-98 percent of the players are either fully vaccinated or have antibodies, which is a great competitive advantage going forward. No matter his status, we only wish the best for Jones and hope he is able to come back sooner rather than later.
With the season starting up just two weeks away, this isn’t a huge issue, but you do want to see the full complement of the offense get some reps together on the field before Week 1.