Nate Davis

Titans Place G Nate Davis On IR, Activate LB Zach Cunningham

Already ruled out for Saturday’s pivotal AFC South matchup against the Texans, Nate Davis may now be done for the season. The Titans placed their starting right guard on IR on Friday.

This transaction will sideline Davis until the divisional round. Given the Titans’ recent performance and their latest injury news, it is a good bet Davis is done for the season. The Titans have placed three O-linemen — Davis, center Ben Jones, tackle Dillon Radunz — on IR this week. An ankle injury will shut down Davis.

[RELATED: Ryan Tannehill Likely Done For Season]

Tennessee did activate linebacker starter Zach Cunningham from IR, but the team will face Houston with numerous starters out of action. The Titans (7-7) are now just a half-game up on the Jaguars, who now control their own destiny in the division race.

One of Pro Football Focus’ top 20 guards this season, Davis is playing on an expiring contract. The fourth-year blocker will be Tennessee’s top 2023 free agent-to-be. Davis, 26, has been a key piece for the Titans since they drafted him in the 2019 third round. The Charlotte alum was a starter on both the Titan O-lines that helped Derrick Henry to rushing titles, and he stayed healthy for most of Tennessee’s injury-riddled run to the AFC’s No. 1 seed last season.

With Elgton Jenkins off the market, Davis’ price could rise. Next year’s guard market is not particularly deep, and with Jenkins having signed a four-year Packers extension, Davis will probably be the top prize. The Broncos’ Dalton Risner and Cowboys’ Connor McGovern will also generate extensive interest, but PFF has rated Davis as a top-25 guard in each of the past three seasons. As far back as the 2021 offseason, Davis has been rumored to be a coveted commodity on the market. His final two rookie-contract years have not changed that status.

The Titans’ exclusive negotiating rights with Davis run up until March’s legal tampering period. Because all O-linemen are grouped together under the franchise tag formula, guards are rarely tagged. It would cost the Titans roughly $18MM to cuff Davis with the tag. It is possible Davis has played his final down with Tennessee, as a new GM’s arrival will add a major wrinkle into the franchise’s upcoming offseason, but the team will surely place a high priority on Davis negotiations. While the Titans’ A.J. Brown trade came to define their 2022 offseason, the period did include a Harold Landry deal — after the franchise tag deadline had passed.

A 2021 waiver claim from the Texans, Cunningham has been out since Week 9 with an elbow injury. Cunningham coming back will help the Titans’ defense, but veteran Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky points out (via Twitter) 19 players who dressed for the team in Week 1 will not be in uniform Saturday. This comes a season after the Titans used an NFL-record 91 players. The Titans have one IR activation remaining; they also promoted offensive lineman Xavier Newman from their practice squad.

Titans Place C Ben Jones, CB Terrance Mitchell On IR

The Titans’ injury problems are not relenting. Following the report of Ryan Tannehill likely being out for the season, the AFC South leaders are placing center Ben Jones and cornerback Terrance Mitchell on IR.

Jones suffered his second concussion this season, and Mitchell sustained a hamstring injury against the Chargers. Neither player could return until the divisional round of the playoffs, but the Titans’ injury issues overall will present a test to merely qualify for the postseason.

Tennessee will face Houston with Malik Willis under center and its offensive line banged up. Taylor Lewan has been out since September, and guard Nate Davis joins Jones in being sidelined. The Titans ruled out Davis because of an ankle injury. The team also placed tackle Dillon Radunz on IR on Wednesday. The team elevated O-lineman Daniel Munyer from its practice squad Thursday. Lewan is a Pro Bowler, while Pro Football Focus has slotted Jones as a top-10 center and Davis a top-20 guard. The Titans will face the Texans without their three best blockers.

Drawing praise for his toughness this season from Mike Vrabel, Jones has signed three contracts with the Titans. The rare O-lineman to sign four multiyear deals during his career, Jones inked his most recent accord this offseason. Tennessee gave its longtime center a two-year, $14MM pact to return to block for Tannehill and Derrick Henry. Jones, 33, had been an iron man coming into this season, missing just one game over his first 10 years. By the end of this season, he will have missed five contests. The former Texans fourth-round pick has started 151 career games (108 with the Titans).

Tennessee’s draft strategy did not point to Mitchell being required to play a key role this season, but the journeyman cornerback has made five starts. Tennessee’s 2021 first-round pick, Caleb Farley, struggled to carve out a role and is now out for the season with another injury. Regular starter Kristian Fulton, a 2020 second-round pick, has not played since Week 13. The Titans have ruled out Fulton for a third straight game. Slot man Elijah Molden remains on IR, having been placed on the injured list for a second time.

Despite being one of the Patriots’ final cuts in August, Mitchell has played 398 snaps for the Titans this season. The former seventh-round pick has been a regular for most of his career, having seen extensive run as a starter for the Chiefs, Browns and Texans. Of the Titans’ top five corners, only second-round rookie Roger McCreary is healthy.

The Titans have run into rampant injury issues for a second consecutive year. They used an NFL-record 91 players last season and are moving toward that total this year. Tennessee has a league-high 19 players on IR heading into Week 16. Owner Amy Adams Strunk cited the team’s injury problems as one of the reasons GM Jon Robinson was fired. Tennessee has two IR activations left. The team designated linebacker Zach Cunningham for return last week; an activation would leave them with one IR-return move left.

FiveThirtyEight gives the Titans a 46% chance to win the division. Friendlier odds would appear if the Jaguars lose to the Jets on Thursday night. If the Titans miss the playoffs, they would join only the 2021 Ravens as teams to start 7-3 or better and miss out since 2017.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/30/21

Here are Thursday’s reserve/COVID-19 list updates:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • Activated from virus list: OL Cody Ford, CB Cam Lewis
  • Activated from practice squad virus list: TE Quintin Morris

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Placed on practice squad virus list: LB Omari Cobb

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/25-12/26/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Christmas and today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

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

  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Steven Sims

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/8/21

We’ve compiled today’s minor NFL transactions below:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: P Dom Maggio

Buffalo Bills

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: LS Cole Mazza

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/30/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here. Teams have until 3pm CT Tuesday to pare their rosters down to 53 players.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: LB Darron Lee

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Titans OL Nate Davis Could Get $11MM+ On Next Contract

The Titans’ offensive line has received its fair share of credit for the team’s dynamic running game over the past few years. One of the more unheralded members of that line, offensive guard Nate Davis, could be eyeing a significant contract once his rookie pact expires. As Adam H. Beasley of ProFootballNetwork.com writes, Davis is quickly transforming into one of the NFL’s top offensive guards, and “industry insiders believe he will get paid like it with another stellar year.”

The 2019 third-round pick out of Charlotte has spent his entire two-year career with Tennessee. After starting 12 of his 13 games as a rookie (plus another three starts in the postseason), Davis started all 16 games for the Titans in 2020, playing in each of the team’s 1,074 offensive snaps. Pro Football Focus graded the 24-year-old as one of the better offensive guards in the NFL, and another strong performance in 2021 should allow him to cash in on a potential extension.

As Beasley notes, Davis has had the opportunity to learn from a number of veterans during his short stint in Tennessee, including Taylor Lewan, Rodger Saffold, and Ben Jones. Couple that guidance with Davis’s intangibles (including a top-notch work ethic), and it shouldn’t be a surprise that the lineman has continued to improve in each of his two NFL seasons, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he takes another leap in year three.

So how much could Davis ask for on his next contract? Per Beasley, league insiders believe the player can command a deal that pays him as one of the top offensive guards in the NFL, with the writer citing Brandon Brooks ($14.1MM AAV), Zack Martin ($14MM AAV), Andrus Peat ($11.5MM AAV), and Saffold ($11MM AAV). The Titans are going to be in a bit of a cap bind going forward, so the organization may have to get creative if they want to retain Davis beyond the 2022 season.

AFC South Rumors: Texans, Colts, Lee, Titans

Drafted to be the Texans‘ hopeful left tackle of the future, Tytus Howard has since been relocated to left guard (with Matt Kalil winning the left-edge job) and has now broken a finger. The rookie blocker suffered the break in Houston’s preseason game against Detroit on Saturday night, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Coming from a Division I-FCS program, and tasked with learning one of the most difficult positions at which to acclimate in the NFL, Howard needs all the reps he can get early on in his career. But this malady is not expected to keep him out of the Texans’ Week 1 game against the Saints, Wilson adds. Howard is in line to be the team’s starting left guard. This injury, in theory, could force the team to adjust those plans.

Here is the latest from the AFC South, shifting to perhaps the division’s most important player:

  • Frank Reich does not want to wait much longer on Andrew Luck‘s recovery. The second-year Colts coach wants to name his Week 1 starter shortly after the team’s third preseason game, and while Luck doing pregame drills before Indianapolis’ second August contest was a positive development, this saga may not wrap up in a week. It’s been the side-to-side movements that have bothered Luck’s ankle and calf injuries most, Mike Wells of ESPN.com notes. But Luck not only did some lateral-movement work before Saturday’s game, Wells adds the 29-year-old passer has done workouts like that in private in recent days. The Colts, who will re-evaluate Luck midweek, are cautiously optimistic he will be available for Week 1.
  • Another AFC South talent is uncertain for Week 1, but Marqise Lee returned to Jaguars practice this week. This obviously increases the sixth-year wideout’s chances for being available come September. Doug Marrone expressed doubt about this recently, but Lee — sidelined throughout 2018 due to ACL damage — returned to work Saturday.
  • The Colts‘ injury situation at receiver has helped one of their incumbents. Once thought to be a bubble player, Chester Rogers is headed back to Indy’s 53-man roster. The former Ryan Grigson-era draft choice is the Colts’ top return man, Reich said (via the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson, on Twitter). Parris Campbell remains sidelined because of a hamstring injury, Erickson tweets.
  • Indianapolis’ revamped receiving corps will not include Reece Fountain. Reich confirmed the 2018 fifth-rounder underwent ankle surgery Friday and will miss the season (Twitter links via CBS4’s Mike Chappell).
  • The Titans are still deciding on their right guard. While veteran utility man Kevin Pamphile would seemingly have the inside track to start opposite Rodger Saffold next month, the team drafted Nate Davis in Round 3 and has 2017 sixth-rounder Corey Levin. Although Pamphile started opposite Saffold on Saturday, each of these players are in the mix. Former Dolphins draftee Jamil Douglas may be in the running as well. Mike Vrabel does not plan to name a starter until after the Titans’ dress-rehearsal preseason game next weekend, Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com notes. Douglas has not played in a game since 2016; Levin suited up for all 16 Titan games last season. An injury limited Pamphile to three 2018 contests (two starts).

Titans Sign Third-Round OL Nate Davis

The Titans have have signed third-round guard Nate Davis to his rookie contract, the club announced today.

A Charlotte product, Davis made 37 starts over three seasons while playing both tackle and guard. Per the Pro Football Focus draft guide, Davis allowed only seven sacks during his collegiate career. In 2018, he gave up just four pressures on 237 pass-blocking snaps.

Tennessee will field an all-new guard tandem in 2019 after cutting Josh Kline and allowing Quinton Spain to leave via free agency. Free agent addition Rodger Saffold will take over at left guard, but right guard is wide open. Davis, the 82nd overall selection, will compete with veterans like Kevin Pamphile and Austin Pasztor for a starting role.

With Davis under contract, Tennessee has only one 2019 draft choice — second-round wideout A.J. Brown — left unsigned.

NFL Draft Rumors: Metcalf, Bills, Bucs

Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf will take a Top 30 visit with the Bills on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Metcalf, who boasts the most impressive physical tools of any wide receiver in this year’s class, could be an option for Buffalo with the No. 9 overall pick.

Some have knocked Metcalf for his lack of natural catching ability, but he had no trouble reeling in the ball in 2017 when he averaged 16.6 yards per catch and scored seven touchdowns for Ole Miss. There’s also some concern about Metcalf’s health, but he was cleared for all football activities in January following his October neck surgery.

Here’s a look at the latest NFL Draft buzz:

  • Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown will visit the Buccaneers on Monday, a source tells Rapoport (on Twitter). The Bucs could use another wide receiver after losing DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, but it’s not clear whether they’d be willing to use the No. 5 overall pick at that position.
  • Iowa tight end Noah Fant will visit with the Lions on Monday, Rapoport reports. Fant registered 518 receiving yards and a team-high seven touchdowns in his final campaign with the Hawkeyes. The Lions could use a player like Fant after Levine Toilolo, Luke Willson, and Michael Roberts underwhelmed last year. Recently, the Lions strengthened the TE group by adding Jesse James, but there’s still room for improvement.
  • Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker will get together with the Steelers, per RapSheet. Last year, Baker captured the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back. But, at 5’11 and 193 pounds, Baker doesn’t offer ideal size for the position.
  • Washington tackle Kaleb McGary will visit with the Patriots on Monday and the Packers on Tuesday, Rapoport hears. There has been some speculation that McGary could be employed as a guard at the pro level.
  • The Giants are hosting Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, Rapoport hears. The Giants are armed with picks at No. 6 and 17, though one of those selections may be spent on drafting Eli Manning‘s successor.
  • Charlotte guard Nate Davis will take a Top 30 visit with the Bills, Rapoport hears.