Elijah Molden

Titans Activate WR Treylon Burks, CB Elijah Molden

The Titans will likely have their starting quarterback available for tomorrow’s game against the Broncos. Their offense will also have a key piece back in the fold in time for the contest.

The Titans announced on Saturday that wideout Treylon Burks has been activated from IR. That is in line with what was expected, after the team designated him to return earlier this week. The first-round rookie should have an immediate role available once again when he suits up tomorrow.

Burks played in each of the team’s first four games this season, after he was unavailable at times during the offseason. He logged a snap share just over 50% during that stretch, making 10 catches for 129 scoreless yards. The Arkansas alum was expected to have a slow start to his NFL career, in part due to the missed time in the spring, but also his unique skillset and usage in college. The Titans rank 31st in the league with an average of 155 passing yards per game, so his return will be a welcomed sight.

The same holds true of Elijah Molden, whom the team has also activated in time for Sunday’s game. The second-year cornerback has yet to play this season, but showed promise as a rookie. The third-rounder took on a starting role, registering 60 tackles, one interception and four pass breakups. He had been designated for return last week as well, making his activation little surprise. Molden will provide a boost to the league’s 30th-ranked pass defense.

To make room for those two additions, the Titans moved a pair of players onto IR. One of them is linebacker Zach Cunningham, who has already missed significant time this season. The former Texan immediately took on a starting role after Tennessee claimed him off waivers last December, and did the same this year with 24 tackles. Cunningham missed three games earlier in the campaign, and will again be sidelined as he recovers from an elbow injury.

Undrafted rookie defensive back Josh Thompson has also been placed on IR. He, like Cunningham, will be unavailable for at least the next four games. Tennessee has five IR activations remaining for the season.

Injury Updates: Whitehair, Barnes, Molden, Poyer, Cushenberry

The Bears designated starting left guard Cody Whitehair for return from injured reserve today, opening the 21-day practice window for him to be activated. Whitehair has been on IR since suffering a knee injury in a Week 4 loss to the Giants.

Getting Whitehair back in the lineup should be really beneficial for the Bears and developing quarterback Justin Fields. Whitehair has been a full-time starter on the Bears’ offensive line since he was drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft. The former Pro Bowler brings back a key veteran presence in Chicago and could help them push to get back in the race for the NFC North.

Once they feel he’s ready, Whitehair should replace Michael Schofield at left guard. If the Bears don’t feel they can activate him within the 21-day practice window, Whitehair will return to IR for the rest of the season.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the NFL:

  • The Packers have designated linebacker Krys Barnes for return from IR, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. Barnes suffered an ankle injury in the team’s season opener this year and has been on IR ever since. The third-year linebacker out of UCLA had started 23 games through the first two years of his NFL career but was expected to compete with first-round rookie Quay Walker for starting time this season. Bringing Barnes back should help add some quality depth to the Packers’ linebacking corps.
  • The Titans have designated cornerback Elijah Molden for return from IR, according to Titans senior writer Jim Wyatt. Molden had been missing several practices in the preseason due to a groin injury and was placed on IR just before the start of the regular season. Molden had made a significant impact as a rookie last year, starting seven games and showing up all over the defense. Aside from finishing fifth on the team for tackles with 60, Molden had an interception returned for a touchdown, four passes defensed, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, 3.0 tackles for loss, and six quarterback pressures. The Titans have gotten a pleasant surprise from a talented, young group of corners so far this season. Molden will add depth behind third-year starter Kristian Fulton, rookie starter Roger McCreary, rookie Tre Avery, second-year corner Caleb Farley, and the lone veteran, Terrance Mitchell.
  • Bills safety Jordan Poyer, who has already missed two games so far this year, didn’t participate in practice today as he deals with an elbow injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The veteran “is considered week-to-week” and could miss some more time. Buffalo already has Damar Hamlin filling in for Micah Hyde, who remains on IR. Special teams ace Jaquan Johnson will fill in for any time Poyer has to miss. He has three such starts over the past two seasons.
  • Broncos third-year starting center Lloyd Cushenberry left last week’s London win over the Jaguars late in the first half with a groin strain. The injury appears to be of some concern as he is expected to “miss some time,” according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. Veteran Graham Glasgow subbed in for Cushenberry last week in London and is expected to start until he can return. Glasgow has plenty of experience as this is his first year in a backup capacity after six years of starting for the Lions and Broncos before.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/9/22

Today’s minor moves leading up to Week 1:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Released with injury settlement: WR Greg Ward

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Waived with injury settlement: DT Elijah Ponder

Tennessee Titans

The Texans had recently re-signed Freeman after he failed to make the initial 53-man roster. Houston will move forward with rookie Dameon Pierce, Rex Burkhead, and Dare Ogunbowale at running back.

Ward has been with the Eagles on-and-off since signing with the team after going undrafted in 2017. His first two seasons consisted mostly of time on the practice squad. The former University of Houston quarterback then took a hiatus from the NFL to sign with the Alliance of American Football. When the AAF suspended operations, Ward re-joined the Eagles. He had a bit of a breakout year in 2020, catching 53 passes for 419 yards and six touchdowns, but took a bit of a backseat in Philadelphia’s offense last season.

Miller was called up as a response to Browns cornerback Greedy Williams being placed on injured reserve today. Miller will slot in behind Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II, Martin Emerson, and A.J. Green as the secondary faces off against their former teammate Baker Mayfield in Week 1.

Latest On Titans’ CB Competition

The Titans enjoyed a successful 2021 regular season in no small part due to their play on the defensive side of the ball. Much of that unit will return this season, but there are of course positional battles set to take place during training camp, including in the secondary. 

In a breakdown of the team’s cornerback room, Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com notes that 2020 second-rounder Kristian Fulton is set to continue as a full-time starter. In 2021, he totalled 14 pass breakups and allowed a competition percentage of just 51%. The first-team role opposite him is up for grabs, though, and Tennessee has a few options to consider.

One of them is Caleb Farley, who entered the league last season amidst injury concerns dating back to his college career at Virginia Tech. He was limited to just three games in his rookie campaign as a result of a torn ACL, leaving him with little advantage, if any, over his primary competition. The Titans drafted Roger McCreary in the second round of this year’s draft, giving them another highly-regarded member of a young CB room.

The Auburn product impressed during spring workouts, McCormick notes. Especially as Farley continues to recover from the injury, he has a path to significant playing time as a rookie. That could come on the outside, but McCreary has also spent some time practicing in the slot. That role belongs to 2021 third-rounder Elijah Molden, but the Titans could, of course, use packages in which all four of their young CBs see the field at the same time.

Outside of those players, Tennessee also has veteran Buster Skrine as at least a depth option capable of stepping up in the event of injuries or stagnated development. If the team’s top DBs play to their caliber, however, they could be in line for another successful defensive performance in 2022.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team