Dontrell Hilliard

Titans Without CB Kristian Fulton, Two Others In Week 2

The Titans have quite the task ahead of them as they’re set to take on the Bills in Buffalo on Monday Night Football tomorrow. Their task just got a bit more challenging as they’ll have to defend quarterback Josh Allen without starting cornerback Kristian Fulton, according to the team’s Week 2 injury report.

After spending most of his rookie season on injured reserve, Fulton established himself as a starter on the Titans’ defense last year, recording two interceptions and 14 passes defensed. Fulton left plenty of room to improve in Year 3, but, after suffering a hamstring injury, Fulton’s improvement will have to wait at least another week.

Without Fulton, the Titans have a few options for who to start opposite rookie second-round pick Roger McCreary, who earned a starting spot with Fulton this offseason. Last year’s first-round pick, Caleb Farley, made his return last week after suffering a torn ACL in Week 6 of last season. Farley was pushing McCreary for the starting job opposite Fulton but McCreary ended up victorious in that position battle. Elijah Molden also pushed for the starting job, but he remains on injured reserve for now. Behind those two, Tennessee will have to employ backups Joshua Kalu, Chris Jackson, and undrafted rookie Tre Avery.

The Titans also listed two key backup players as “out” on the injury report. Dontrell Hilliard was set to back up star running back Derrick Henry, but a hamstring injury will hold him out this week. The report also gave the “out” status for backup offensive lineman Jamarco Jones, who competed for multiple starting jobs on the inside of the line this offseason.

In the absence of Hilliard, Henry will be backed up by rookie fourth-round pick Hassan Haskins and veteran reserve back Trenton Cannon. Without Jones, the Titans still have some strong backup options on the offensive line. Dillon Radunz was in the running for those interior line starting positions this offseason, as well, and Corey Levin and Dennis Daley add to the depth of the position in Tennessee.

Latest On Titans’ RB Competition

The Titans’ offense has undergone a number of changes this offseason, but the unit’s catalyst will once again be in place for the start of the upcoming season. Derrick Henry is poised to handle a heavy workload as always, but there is much to be sorted out regarding the rest of the position’s depth chart. 

In a breakdown of the unit heading into training camp, Jim Wyatt of the team’s website details the many moves Tennessee has made in recent months, including re-signing veterans Jordan Wilkins and Dontrell HilliardThe latter showed promise while filling in for Henry after his midseason injury last year. Hilliard registered the first five starts of his career late in 2021, and averaged an impressive 6.3 yards per carry. His success (albeit in a limited capacity) earned the former UDFA another deal with the Titans.

While Hilliard could be in line for the main backup role left open by the departure of D’Onta Foreman, he will be facing competition from several other backs for playing time. Outside of Wilkins and free agent addition Trenton Cannon, that could come most from Hassan Haskins. The fourth-rounder raised his draft stock with a stellar 2021 campaign at Michigan, in which he led the Big Ten in carries and total touchdowns, ranking second in the conference with 1,327 rushing yards. Given his status as a rookie, and the role he played in helping the Wolverines to the CFB playoffs, Haskins’ spot on the roster in some capacity is likely secure.

As a result, Wyatt notes, Hilliard, Wilkins and Cannon could find themselves competing over one spot on the 53-man roster. The presence of fullback Tory Carter and the fact that Henry, when healthy, will operate as a workhorse limits the path each has to a full-time spot. Given the question marks currently surrounding the Titans’ pass-catching corps, however, the way the RB depth chart shakes out in camp will be significant.

Titans Re-Sign RB Dontrell Hilliard

D’Onta Foreman parlayed his stint with the Titans into a deal with the Panthers, but fellow running back Dontrell Hilliard will be sticking around Tennessee. The Titans announced that they’ve re-signed the running back.

[RELATED: Panthers To Sign RB D’Onta Foreman]

The Titans had plenty of carries to go around while Derrick Henry was out of the lineup. While Foreman ended up getting the bulk of the yards, Hilliard was the one who got the bulk of the starts. Hilliard got into eight games (five starts) for Tennessee last season, finishing with 350 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 56 carries. He also added another 19 receptions for 87 yards.

Hilliard, a 2018 undrafted free agent out of Tulane, spent the first two-plus seasons of his career with the Browns, seeing time in 30 games. He was claimed off waivers by the Texans in 2020 and got into two games with them.

Henry should be good to go for the 2022 campaign, and Hilliard is currently penciled in to be his main backup. The Titans are also rostering Trenton Cannon, and the front office will surely add more RBs before training camp.

Minor NFL Transactions:  11/23/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

  • Designated for return: WR Marquez Stevenson

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/30/21

Here is the Week 8 Saturday minor move blitz:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets 

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/27/21

Today’s practice squad moves:

Denver Broncos

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Patriots Work Out Four Running Backs

With James White sidelined indefinitely, the Patriots are eyeing some free agent running backs. The team worked out Ito Smith, Ryquell Armstead, Dontrell Hilliard, and Artavis Pierce today, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Patriots’ James White Out Indefinitely]

Smith has the most experience among the four, seeing time in 35 games in three seasons with the Falcons. This included a 2020 campaign where he finished with 343 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown. The 26-year-old caught on with the Vikings this offseason but was let go before the regular season.

Armstead got into 16 games as a rookie with the Jaguars in 2019, finishing with 252 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. He sat out the 2020 season while dealing with issues from COVID-19, and after getting claimed by the Giants in May, he was waived by his new team in June. Pierce, a 2020 undrafted free agent out of Oregon State, saw time in five games with the Bears last season, rushing for 34 yards and one touchdown on six carries. Hilliard, 26, saw time in 30 games for the Browns in two-plus seasons with the organization.

White suffered a hip injury during Sunday’s loss to the Saints, and the veteran will be sidelined for the foreseeable future. The team is already rostering four other RBs in Damien Harris, J.J. Taylor, rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, and special teamer Brandon Bolden.

The Patriots didn’t only audition running backs today. The team also took a look at defensive backs D.J. Daniel and Stephen Denmark and wideout Anthony Johnson.

Panthers Work Out RB Duke Johnson

Duke Johnson is wrapping a two-visit work week. The former Browns and Texans passing-down back worked out for the Panthers on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Johnson visited the 49ers on Monday.

While widespread uncertainty has gripped San Francisco’s backfield, the 49ers went in another direction. Carolina, however, will be without Christian McCaffrey for weeks due to the hamstring injury the All-Pro suffered Thursday night. Johnson could seemingly have an opportunity for a 3-0 team that now lacks a proven receiving back.

The Panthers have rookie Chuba Hubbard and former Broncos contributor Royce Freeman. The former did catch 20-plus passes in his first two seasons at Oklahoma State, but the Canadian back did drop a pass at the goal line Thursday. Freeman did not factor into the Broncos’ passing game much during his three Denver seasons.

Johnson has excelled in this role, eclipsing 400 receiving yards in his first five NFL seasons. The Jaguars cut the former third-round pick from their practice squad last week, and while the veteran resided in free agency for months after his February Texans release, multiple teams have kicked the tires on him recently.

The 28-year-old back signed a Browns extension in 2018 but saw the team’s subsequent Kareem Hunt addition lead him out of Cleveland. Johnson missed five games last season but was productive for the Texans in 2019, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and totaling 820 scrimmage yards.

Additionally, Carolina auditioned running backs Ito Smith, Dontrell Hilliard and B.J. Emmons, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Hilliard, also primarily a passing-game option, joined Johnson on the 2018 Browns. Hilliard also played in two games for the Texans last season. Three teams — the Falcons, Cardinals and Vikings — cut Smith this offseason. Smith played three seasons with the Falcons, primarily functioning as a backup.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/19/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DL Jordan Phillips; Phillips tested positive for the coronavirus

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: DL Deyon Sizer

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/17/21

Tuesday afternoon marked the deadline for teams to cut down from 90 to 85 players. We’ll keep track of those cuts and the day’s other minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: WR Jeff Badet

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team