The Titans will start to form their 16-man practice squad now that players have cleared waivers this afternoon. The rules for the practice squad are different this year. The NFL ad NFLPA agreed on the new rules to help teams deal with potential COVID outbreaks that could happen during the season.
This year 6 players on the practice squad can have any level of NFL experience. That is a big change from years past. The other big change is that teams can protect up to four players each week on their practice squad that cannot be signed by other teams. The other 12 players can be signed by other teams provided the team signing them adds the player to its active roster.
Yesterday we saw quite a few comments like “the team hopes to add them to the practice squad” when we saw reports of a player being released. Today we will find out how many of those are actually added to the practice squad.
I would like to see the Titans add a quarterback and a kicker to their practice squad. Those are the two positions that it would be basically impossible to replace if a positive COVID test were to pop up late in a game week. Keep in mind that a player has to pass four COVID tests in five days before they can join a team on the field.
We will use this thread to keep track of the players that are added to the practice squad. Our very own Justin Melo was on fire breaking news of cuts yesterday. You can expect the same from him today so follow him @JustinM_NFL on Twitter.
The first addition to the 16-man practice squad was veteran quarterback Trevor Siemian who lost the QB2 battle to Logan Woodside, but gives Tennessee a veteran option waiting in the wings if an injury or a COVID test should force Ryan Tannehill out of action.
The team has also added veteran cornerback Tye Smith to the practice squad, per Paul Kuharsky. This will be Smith’s 4th season in Tennessee and he gives the team some extra depth as a physical cornerback with special teams experience.
The Titans only kept one UDFA on the 53 man roster — undersized Texas State center Aaron Brewer — but they’re keeping some undrafted rookies on the practice squad. That group includes former South Carolina defensive tackle Kobe Smith, per Eric Edholm.
Another UDFA practice squad member will be former Valdosta State tackle Brandon Kemp, per our own John Glennon. Kemp has good size at 6’-7” and 310 pounds, but his true calling card is his explosiveness as an athlete.
The Titans are keeping undrafted rookie kicker Tucker McCann on the practice squad as well, per his agent Nate Litwin. It was widely expected that teams would carry an extra kicker on the practice squad to make sure they had insurance against a positive COVID test in the lead up to a game.
McCann had a solid camp and was an effective punter during his final year at Missouri, making him valuable as Brett Kern insurance as well as backing up new Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
The Titans released a list of 13 players who have been added to the practice squad that includes the five listed above, plus the eight below:
- OLB Jamal Davis
- OLB Wyatt Ray
- RB Jeremy McNichols
- CB Kareem Orr
- OL David Quessenberry
- DL Teair Tart
- WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
- TE Tommy Hudson
A couple surprise omissions to this point are WR Rashard Davis and ILB Cale Garrett. The Titans still have three spots to hand out so those guys could still be coming or the team may have some players who got cut from other rosters that they want to take a look at. We should find out relatively soon.