Nick Westbrook-Ikhine

AFC South Notes: Titans, Texans, Jaguars

The Titans were the No. 1 seed in the AFC last year, but they have seen a number of significant changes on offense. this offseason. With A.J. Brown and Julio Jones gone, wide receiver will be one of the most intriguing position groups to watch as training camp unfolds.

The team has former Ram Robert Woods set to start alongside first-rounder Treylon Burks. Both have significant question marks surrounding them, however, as Woods is coming off of a torn ACL and Burks missed nearly all of the team’s spring programs. That leaves the door open for other players to stand out and earn significant playing time during at least the early portion of the season.

One candidate is Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. The former UDFA will open up training camp as a starter, per Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com. The 25-year-old put up notable numbers in 2021, averaging 12.5 yards per catch on 38 receptions and scoring four touchdowns. His third season could very well be his best, especially if he gets an extended look with the first team during the campaign.

Here are some other notes from the AFC South, including another positional battle in Tennessee:

  • In that same piece, McCormick details the competition facing the Titans at left guard. Assuming 2021 second-rounder Dillon Randuz starts at right tackle, where he has been practicing this offseason, LG should be the only spot on the line up for grabs. That competition would then be decided by free agent signing Jamarco Jones, who played in a rotational capacity in Seattle for the past three years, and Aaron Brewer, who likewise has backed up along different positions on the interior in Tennessee since 2020.
  • The Texans made a number of front office moves, as detailed by Aaron Wilson of Pro Football NetworkJames Liipfert has been promoted to assistant director of player personnel and college scouting director. He had previously served elsewhere in Houston’s scouting department, joining Nick Caserio‘sstaff after a lengthy tenure in New England. The Texans also promoted Ronnie McGill, another Patriots veteran, to pro scouting director one year after his arrival in Houston. He will be joined by D.J. Debick as an assistant, as the team also hired him from New England. The final personnel hires Wilson notes are those of R.J. Goodwin and Nate Leopold, both as assistants.
  • The Jaguars are once again losing a key analytics staffer. Eugene Shen, who had been the team’s VP of football analytics, is leaving to take a position outside of sports, per ESPN’s Seth Walder (Twitter link). Last year, Jacksonville parted ways with Karim Kassam, who was also a VP-level staffer within the analytics department.

Titans Eyeing Another WR Addition?

The receiver room has seen plenty of turnover in Tennessee this offseason. Despite the changes already made, more could be on the way in the near future. 

According to Jim Wyatt of TennesseTitans.com, there is a strong chance of “another addition before the season at receiver”. The top of the depth chart at this time last season consisted of A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, of course, but that led to mixed results on the field.

Despite having the worst statistical season of his three-year career, Brown easily led the team in receiving yards with 869. Jones, meanwhile, was only able to suit up for ten contests and likewise had a career-worst season. Overall, the team ranked 23rd in the league in the passing game; as the AFC’s top seed, however, they were obviously able to enjoy a high degree of success without an efficient aerial attack.

Not surprisingly, given his injury troubles and lack of production, Jones was released in March. That left the team looking – for the second straight offseason – for a new compliment to Brown, after seeing Corey Davis depart in free agency one year earlier. Days later, they traded for Robert Woods with the aim of accomplishing that very goal.

Woods had become expendable for the Rams, given their signing of Allen Robinson and potential reunion with Odell Beckham Jr. However, when he makes his Titans debut, he won’t be doing so alongside Brown, as the team envisioned when they acquired him. After it became clear a new contract couldn’t be agreed upon with the latter, he was traded to the Eagles in exchange for a first round pick during Day 1 of the draft.

With that selection, the Titans added Treylon Burks. One of the most unique receiving prospects in this year’s class, he should have a clear path to playing time alongside Woods and returnee Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Other than Beckham, remaining free agents include Will Fuller, T.Y. Hilton and Cole Beasley. Any of those could provide a short-term boost to the passing game as the Titans look to integrate new receiving pieces into their offense.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/9/22

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

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/31/21

Here are the New Year’s Eve additions and subtractions from teams’ reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Activated from practice squad virus list: T Drew Himmelman, LB Barrington Wade

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

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

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC East

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These CowboysEaglesGiants and Washington moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Dallas Cowboys

Signed to practice squad:

New York Giants

Placed on IR:

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Philadelphia Eagles

Signed to practice squad:

Washington Football Team

Placed on IR:

Signed:

Signed to practice squad:

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/16/20

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

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: S Curtis Riley (off Steelers‘ practice squad)

Cleveland Browns

  • Promoted: LB Montrel Meander

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

New England Patriots

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Titans Place Adoree Jackson On IR

The Titans have placed Adoree Jackson on injured reserve prior to tonight’s opener against the Broncos, per a club announcement. Jackson was limited in practice on Friday with a knee injury, but the club has not offered additional details on the severity of the injury. At minimum, Jackson will miss the next three weeks, per the league’s modified IR rules for this season. 

Jackson was said to be having a strong camp before the injury. Now, the Titans will have to look elsewhere for support opposite of Malcolm Butler. Veteran Johnathan Joseph seems likely to get the nod and second-round rookie Kristian Fulton may also see some additional snaps in the interim.

To round out the group, the Titans have promoted cornerback Tye Smith from the taxi squad. Running back Jeremy McNichols and wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine will also get called up for Monday night’s game against Denver, though they’ll revert back to the p-squad on Tuesday morning.

Last year, Jackson graded out as the eighth-best cornerback in the NFL, according to the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus. This offseason, the Titans made the no-brainer move to pick up his fifth-year option for 2021. After this season, the Titans are expected to discuss a long-term deal with the USC product to keep him for years to come.

Titans Place T Isaiah Wilson On Reserve/COVID-19 List, Set Practice Squad

The Titans may begin the season without their first-round pick. They placed Isaiah Wilson on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

This marks the second time the first-round tackle has landed on the COVID list. Players do not have to test positive to be placed on the list; they can land there if they come in contact with an infected person.

Wilson, a Georgia alum, spent roughly a week on the COVID list earlier this summer. Given Tennessee’s investment, he projects as a player who will at some point become Jack Conklin‘s replacement at right tackle. However, the Titans may not have him to start the season.

In other Titans roster moves, running back Senorise Perry and cornerback Chris Milton will join the team’s 53-man roster. To clear the other roster spot, the Titans placed safety Dane Cruikshank on IR. Players who are carried onto the regular-season roster do not have to miss a full season if placed on IR. This season, players who land on IR can return after three weeks.

Tennessee also set its practice squad Sunday. Trevor Siemian agreed to sign on. The Titans signed the former Broncos starter-turned-journeyman backup late this offseason but did not carry him through to their 53-man roster. He will instead serve as an emergency quarterback of sorts.

Here is the full list: