Austin Davis

Marcus Mariota’s Week 17 Status Uncertain; Titans To Sign Austin Davis

Going into their do-or-die Week 17 assignment, the Titans are again unsure about the availability of their starting quarterback.

Marcus Mariota was forced out of Saturday’s win over the Redskins with an elbow injury. Although Mike Vrabel said Monday (via Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com) this is a stinger and not the same injury that forced Mariota to miss time earlier this season, he did not commit to his starter being ready to face the Colts in the NFL’s 2018 regular-season finale.

The Titans did not provide much information on Mariota’s previous injury, one that did not subside quickly and forced the fourth-year passer to wear a glove on his throwing hand during the season’s first half. Vrabel did say Mariota feels better the Monday after this setback compared to his state following the Week 1 injury.

The team is taking precautions, however, with Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com reporting (via Twitter) Austin Davis will sign with Tennessee. This is a similar course of action to the Mariota-related strategy the Titans took in September. Davis signed with the Titans in late September but was released two weeks later. He does not have practice squad eligibility remaining, per McCormick.

Mariota may be limited this week, but Vrabel said that would not stop him from playing. Blaine Gabbert would start if Mariota cannot go.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Release QB Austin Davis, WR Nick Williams

The Titans shuffled their offensive depth chart today. The team announced that they’ve released wide receiver Nick Williams and quarterback Austin Davis. Linebacker Robert Spillane has been promoted from the practice squad to take the open roster spot.

After being released by the Titans in early September, Williams rejoined the organization later that month. The 27-year-old proceeded to appear in a pair of games for Tennessee, returning four punts for 47 yards. He got some action on offense during Sunday’s loss to the Bills, dropping a pass that likely would have resulted in a touchdown.

The former undrafted free agent out of Connecticut has managed to stick around the NFL since 2013, and he hauled in 17 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns with the Falcons in 2015. The move leaves the Titans with only four wideouts on the active roster, and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson will likely resume his role as the primary punt returner.

Davis was brought in last month after backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert was placed into the concussion protocol. The 29-year-old didn’t end up seeing the field during his brief tenure in Tennessee. Davis’ only extended run as a starting quarterback came with the Rams in 2014, when he completed 63.4-percent of his passes for 2,001 yards, 12 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. The move leaves the Titans with only a pair of quarterbacks in Gabbert and starter Marcus Mariota.

Spillane, an undrafted free agent out of Western Michigan, had spent the first five weeks on the Titans practice squad. He led the team with 25 tackles during the preseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/2/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • T Andrew Nelson (link)

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/25/18

Here are Tuesday’s practice squad decisions:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

  • Signed: P Colby Wadman
  • Cut: DL Niles Scott

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

  • Cut: C Marcus Henry

Tennessee Titans

Titans To Sign QB Austin Davis

The Titans are signing free agent quarterback Austin Davis, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Davis will provide veteran insurance with Blaine Gabbert in the concussion protocol and Marcus Mariota nursing an elbow injury.

The expectation remains that Mariota will be ready to face the Eagles on Sunday, especially after he came in for Gabbert over the weekend. But, with Gabbert’s status up in the air, the Titans wanted another QB ready in reserve. If Mariota’s elbow trouble flares up again, it’s possible that Davis could be thrown into live action against the defending champs.

The Titans’ passing offense has been inconsistent through three games, but they’ve managed to jump out to a 2-1 record after wins against a pair of divisional rivals. The Titans hope that Mariota will regain his footing on Sunday, and they certainly hope that they won’t have to put Davis on the field.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/7/18

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Jacksonville Jaguars 

  • Waived from injured reserve: WR Tevaun Smith

Minnesota Vikings

  • Waived from injured reserve: OL Josh Andrews, RB Mack Brown, DB Craig James

New England Patriots

  • Waived from injured reserve: TE Will Tye

New York Giants

  • Waived from injured reserve: S Darian Thompson

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Waived: S Tre Sullivan

Seattle Seahawks

  • Waived: CB Simeon Thomas
  • Waived from injured reserve: CB Byron Maxwell, LB Erik Walden, QB Austin Davis

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Chicago Bears

Signed:

Cut:

Placed on injured reserve:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Seahawks Move Roster To 53

Placed on NFI:

Placed on injured reserve:

Cut:

Packers Move Roster To 53

The Packers have trimmed their roster to 53 by making the following transactions:

Waived/Injured:

Placed on suspended list:

Cut:

NFC West Notes: Bucannon, 49ers, Seahawks

Deone Bucannon spent his 2017 offseason rehabbing from an injury, and the Cardinals became concerned the fifth-year linebacker suffered a serious setback at practice Thursday. But a day later, the team is relieved after an MRI revealed Bucannon did not damage any knee ligaments, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Bucannon did suffer a hyperextended knee and bruised a kneecap, per Rapoport, and the Cards aren’t going to rush him back as a result. Ankle injuries limited Bucannon to 12 games last season, and 2018 will be critical for him. He will play this season on a fifth-year option and is due for 2019 free agency. The Cards’ shift to a 4-3 look will result in their 2014 first-round pick lining up at outside linebacker. Initially a safety, Bucannon moved to an inside ‘backer slot and played there full-time over the past two seasons.

The 49ers saw a former first-round pick go down during camp as well. Here’s the latest from the NFC West:

  • Arik Armstead missed much of the past two seasons because of an injury, and the 49ers‘ 2015 first-rounder’s now dealing with another one. A hamstring malady is expected to sideline Armstead for multiple weeks, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Armstead went on IR with a shoulder injury in 2016, and a broken hand ended his 2017 campaign. He also underwent foot surgery this offseason. The 49ers picked up Armstead’s $9MM 2019 option in May. He’s expected to remain a defensive end starter this season.
  • The Seahawks drafted Alex McGough in the seventh round, but ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson notes he hasn’t provided Austin Davis with much competition. It appears certain Davis will reprise his role as Russell Wilson‘s top backup this season. “Austin has been really solid,” Pete Carroll said. “I think it’s been really hard for Alex to get going. He’s been struggling. It’s been hard for him. We are a very high-tech offense, there’s a lot going on and he hasn’t been able to get back to even where he was in the offseason.”
  • Kyle Shanahan admitted he’s had doubts he made the right decision to convince John Lynch to trade up to select Joe Williams in the 2017 fourth round, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle notes. A Utah product who stepped away from football in college due to off-field issues, Williams did not impress the 49ers’ staff during 2017 training camp and has yet to play in a game. While Shanahan’s seen a stronger commitment from the second-year back this summer, Williams isn’t a roster lock. He’s competing with Raheem Mostert for the 49ers’ third-string running back job, behind Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida, Branch adds.
  • Before the 49ers made an offer to McKinnon, Kyle Juszczyk helped recruit him. The NFL’s highest-paid fullback began texting with the former Vikings backup running back during the winter, and once informed the 49ers were going after him, the team told Juszczyk to keep pushing with his recruitment, Juszczyk said (via Maiocco). McKinnon surprised many by fetching a four-year, $30MM contract, including his new fullback. “I don’t know if I knew he was going to be the top-paid running back in the market that year,” Juszczyk said. “But I figured he’d be a guy that we’d be interested in.”