Following a big week for the Titans’ AFC standing, they are set to have a key defender back in uniform soon. Tennessee designated Jayon Brown to return from IR on Wednesday.
This starts Brown’s 21-day clock to come off IR. The Titans parked the fifth-year linebacker on their injury list because of a hamstring injury. The team also designated outside linebacker Derick Roberson and center Aaron Brewer to come off IR.
The Titans retained Brown this offseason, re-signing him on a one-year deal worth $5.25MM. The veteran second-level starter faces a key stretch run, having spent time on IR in each of the past two seasons. Brown’s 2020 season ended after 10 games. This and the pandemic-altered salary cap affected Brown’s free agency, putting some pressure on him to make an impact ahead of a 2022 free agency bid.
Tennessee has shown some improvement on defense this season and is coming off one of its best defensive outings in recent memory, having held the Chiefs without a touchdown. A 34-game starter since the 2018 season, Brown made 105 tackles in 2019 and profiles as a key helper for the Titans’ chances of repeating as AFC South champions. Tennessee faces its lone threat to doing so Sunday, in matching up with the Colts for the second time this season.
Weaver, a fourth-round rookie, suffered a leg injury during Sunday’s win over the Colts. Per McCormick, the linebacker was seen leaving the stadium on crutches, and it’s believed the player suffered a broken leg. If that’s the case, Weaver’s season has likely come to an end.
After seeing a bit of time on special teams in Week 2, Weaver saw a more significant role on defense on Sunday. The rookie finished the game having compiled two tackles.
Weaver’s increase in playing time was partly attributed to Roberson, who was inactive on Sunday due to a knee injury. The linebacker saw time on 31 snaps during Week 1, collecting three tackles. He didn’t see the field over the past two weeks, and now he’ll have to sit out an additional three weeks thanks to his placement on IR.
The team has already started to add some depth at the position. Earlier today, the Titans added linebacker Sharif Finch to their practice squad.
The Titans will have to play without one of their key pass rushers the rest of the way. They placed Cameron Wake on IR Tuesday. Wake signed with the Titans this offseason, but an injury will shelve the 37-year-old standout.
Wake registered 2.5 sacks this season, but each of those came in the Titans’ Week 1 win over the Browns. He signed a three-year, $23MM deal with the Titans in March. The team has not disclosed the nature of the injury.
The former Dolphins sack artist has certainly not made the same kind of impact with the Titans, having made just four tackles this season. Still, those 2.5 sacks in Cleveland moved him past 100 for his career. Sitting on 100.5, Wake is tied for 31st all time. Although the four-time Pro Bowler has been used in a situational capacity, with second-year edge player Harold Landry serving as Tennessee’s top sack threat, Wake did play a season-high 37 snaps against Jacksonville.
This will also mark just the second time in Wake’s 11-year NFL career he will have missed more than two games in a season. Other than going on Miami’s IR list midway through the 2015 season, Wake has been one of the NFL’s most durable players.
Incredibly, Jeffery Simmons could make his NFL debut as soon as this weekend. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the first-rounder has been activated from the reserve/non-football injury list.
The Mississippi State-developed interior defender was viewed as a potential top-10 pick before suffering a torn ACL during pre-draft training. The Titans still made the lineman the 19th-overall pick with the understanding that he’d likely sit out his entire rookie campaign. That apparently won’t be the case; Rapoport notes that while the team will naturally be cautious with their investment, Simmons clearly proved in practice that he was ready to play.
Players have returned from ACL tears in playoff games in time for Week 1 of the following season, so a Simmons debut at some point over the next few weeks seems likely. That may also depend on Tennessee’s playoff prospects, which do not look especially promising after Sunday’s shutout loss.
Simmons registered 32.5 tackles for loss in three seasons at Mississippi State. The Titans are hoping he brings that pass-rushing prowess to the NFL.
Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC South 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 Colts, Jaguars, Texans and Titans are noted below.
Additionally, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads today. 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 AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
The Titans have signed a pair of rookie linebackers, fifth-round pick D’Andre Walker and sixth-round pick David Long, the club announced today.
Walker projects as an edge rusher at the NFL level, while Long is more likely to play off-ball linebacker. Neither looks to have an easy path to playing time in 2019. The Titans already boast Harold Landry and Cameron Wake on the edge, while Long is blocked by Rashaan Evans, Jayon Brown, and Wesley Woodyard on the inside.
Tennessee also agreed to terms with the following 12 undrafted free agents:
Sam Houston State pass rusher Derick Roberson had a private workout with Titans head coach MikeVrabel and general manager JonRobinson, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The six-foot-four, 250-pound lineman had a standout season in 2018, finishing with 15 sacks, five forced fumbles, and 20.5 tackles for loss. Lions linebackers coach AlGolden previously met with Roberson during his Pro Day. The pass rusher is expected to be selected on Day 2 of the draft.
Toledo cornerback Ka’dar Hollman also had a private workout with the Texans, reports Wilson. The defensive back has also had visits and workouts with the Dolphins, Saints, Bears, Colts, Eagles, Lions and Browns. While Hollman has boosted his draft stock following a strong Pro Day, he’s still at best a sixth- or seventh-rounder.
TCU wideout KaVontae Turpin‘s Pro Day was attended by the Cowboys, Redskins, Seahawks, and Raiders, reports Wilson (via Twitter). The talented offensive weapon had at least 29 receptions in each of his four collegiate seasons, and he also showed some talent in the return game. Turpin is expected to be a late-round pick or an undrafted free agent.