The Titans announced this afternoon that they have added pass rusher Vic Beasley to the Non-Football Injury (NFI) reserve list, the latest twist in what is becoming an entirely too dramatic introduction to his new team. They also released outside linebacker Reggie Gilbert with an injury designation.
According to Paul Kuharsky, Beasley’s addition to the NFI list came as a result of a failed physical following his clearance of the mandatory COVID testing protocol.
The reason for the failed physical could be wide-ranging, from a lingering injury that the team was not aware of, to a failure to pass conditioning tests. Either way, this is obviously another disappointing development for a player who needed a fresh start, got one, and is somehow already seemingly in need of another one.
Of course, all will be forgiven if Beasley comes out and dominates in two-tone blue this fall, but he’s put the target squarely on his back with the fan base by arriving 10 days late to training camp and then failing to pass a physical. I’d imagine Mike Vrabel is not too pleased with his $9.5-million dollar man either.
The other piece of news — that the team is releasing backup outside linebacker Reggie Gilbert — can be read a couple different ways. I see it primarily as a vote of confidence in second-year depth players D’Andre Walker and Derick Roberson. The team is now down to just six outside linebackers on the roster and two of them are currently inactive (Beasley on NFI and Josh Smith on the COVID/reserve list).
That leaves just Harold Landry, Kamalei Correa, Derick Roberson, and D’Andre Walker as the only available outside linebackers on the roster as practice intensity begins to ramp up over the next few days. The team has traditionally kept either five or six OLBs on the active roster, and with Smith already sitting behind Roberson and Walker on the depth chart, it seems highly likely that both those guys are slated for spots among the 53-man roster.
The other reading of the Gilbert move, of course, is preparing for the addition of Jadeveon Clowney. It’s not crazy to think that could be the case either given the low number of available bodies at the position we just outlined. However, I’m currently in the “believe it when I see it” mode with all Clowney speculation.
If the Beasley situation continues to deteriorate, the pressure on Jon Robinson to bite the bullet and give Clowney what he wants will only intensify.