Tennessee Titans Rumors & News

Titans’ Harry Douglas Returns To Practice

Harry Douglas could be on the verge of returning to the field. On Monday, the wide receiver practiced with the Titans (Twitter link via Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com). "<strong

By putting Douglas on the practice field, the Titans have triggered a three-week window in which they can bring him off of injured reserve. If he is not activated within that timeframe, he will not be allowed to play for the remainder of the season. However, coach Mike Mularkey says that Douglas could rejoin the roster as early as this week.

Douglas, 33, spent the first six seasons of his career with the Falcons and eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving in 2013. He was less effective upon joining the Titans in 2015, finishing out with 36 catches for 411 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, his usage dwindled with just 15 grabs for 210 yards in 11 games. He took a pay cut to stay with the team in the spring and he hasn’t had a chance to redeem himself thanks to a knee injury.

The Titans stayed competitive with the Steelers on Thursday night before Pittsburgh blew the doors open en route to a 40-17 win. Even after the tough loss, Tennessee is in the hunt for the AFC South crown with a 6-4 record. Douglas might not be able to reprise his 2013 performance, but he could be a useful weapon behind Rishard Matthews, Corey Davis, and Eric Decker.

Per the league’s IR-DTR rules, each team is permitted to bring two players back from IR each season. The Titans are still deliberating whether to also bring linebacker Aaron Wallace back into the fold.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Could Activate Harry Douglas, Aaron Wallace

  • The Titans will next week discuss whether to activate wide Harry Douglas and/or linebacker Aaron Wallace from injured reserve, tweets Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com. NFL clubs are now allowed to bring two players off IR, so Tennessee will be able to see both players return to the field in 2017 if it so chooses. Douglas would become the Titans’ fourth or fifth wideout if activated, but Wallace could potentially play a role down the stretch, as Tennessee currently ranks as a bottom-five team in adjusted sack rate.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/9/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed: WR KeVonn Mabon

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: OL Tyler Marz
  • Waived: OL Brad Seaton

NFL Workout Updates: 10/31/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

DeMarco Murray Hearing Trade Rumblings

  • DeMarco Murray has heard “rumblings” he could be traded, Ed Werder tweets. This would be an obviously interesting move given the Titans‘ placement in the AFC South and wild-card races and their affinity for ground success under Mike Mularkey. Murray has no guaranteed money left on his through-2019 deal. The Cowboys are reportedly calling about running backs after Ezekiel Elliott‘s suspension was restored, and Werder notes Murray makes sense due to his All-Pro season for Dallas in 2014.

Poll: Who Will Win AFC South?

The AFC’s top three seeds from the 2016 playoffs are each 5-2 and viewed as central threats to represent the conference in Super Bowl LII, but there are a few intriguing teams vying for the AFC’s fourth mandated home game.

With the Patriots, Steelers and Chiefs looking like solid favorites to repeat as division champions, the AFC South profiles as the conference’s most competitive race. And with two of the teams vying for the title on bye, this looks like a good time to assess midseason stock.

Three teams enter Week 8 with three losses, and one of those has yet to claim this division’s title since the NFL reorganized its divisions in 2002.

Often involved in free agent pursuits in recent years with little on-field results to show for the investments, the Jaguars are 4-3 and may have the best AFC South unit. A blend of highly paid UFAs and blossoming homegrown talents on defense have the Jags as a legitimate contender despite annual struggles piecing together a competent passing game. The Jags won the A.J. Bouye and Calais Campbell sweepstakes, and these acquisitions are paying off for the now-Tom Coughlin-run franchise.

Campbell’s midway through a career year, leading the NFL with a career-high 10 sacks in seven games, despite being 31 and joining a 4-3 scheme after years in a 3-4 look. Pro Football Focus ranks Bouye ninth among cornerbacks, with Jalen Ramsey sitting third in what’s been the best-graded tandem in football. These talents, along with No. 4 overall pick Leonard Fournette, are buoying a still-anemic passing attack.

Can the Jags’ defense and No. 1-ranked (by far) run game spearhead this surprise season if Blake Bortles continues to operate at this level? If so, it would be the franchise’s first division title since winning the AFC Central in 1999.

The two teams picked by most to vie for this division’s home playoff game, the Texans and Titans each have three losses near the midway point. Neither has the eye-popping numbers Jacksonville’s pass rush or ground game has generated, but both Deshaun Watson and Marcus Mariota have offered superior work to Bortles. And in a league where successful teams can be correlated with quarterback play, that obviously matters most.

Thus far, Watson is bailing out the Texans after their reckless Brock Osweiler contract and rewarding the franchise’s bold Round 1 trade. The Clemson-honed dynamo’s recent run has enhanced the two-time reigning AFC South champs’ offense, and the Texans largely stood pat otherwise this offseason after devoting plenty of resources to augmenting their offense in 2016. Houston, though, losing J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus — after Bouye departed — could pose a problem at some point. The Texans rank 11th in total defense after leading the league last season.

Houston also looks to have the toughest closing schedule with road dates against both fellow AFC South contenders, along with this weekend’s trip to Seattle and a Christmas Day game against the Steelers.

Tennessee’s been the least consistent of this contending trio, beating the Seahawks and routing the Jags before giving up 57 points in Houston and needing overtime to beat the Browns. The Titans’ loss to the Dolphins could be blamed on Mariota’s hamstring injury, but it doesn’t look like the trendy preseason pick will be able to stay on its current wayward pace and lock up a playoff berth.

New Titans corners Logan Ryan and Adoree’ Jackson haven’t shown upper–echelon work just yet, and Corey Davis has seen action in just one game. The Titans look to redeploy their top draft choice in Week 9, and this should benefit a passing game that’s largely depended on holdover Rishard Matthews rather than the flashy new additions of Davis and Eric Decker. Tennessee still possesses a dangerous run game, and Derrick Henry‘s receiving more work, and probably has the best offensive line of the contending trio.

With Andrew Luck possibly set to redshirt this season after enduring a setback, the 2-5 Colts do not appear likely to factor into this race. They’ve lost four of its five games by at least two touchdowns, and it’s looking like the end of the line for Ryan Grigson hire Chuck Pagano.

So, who wins this division? Can Watson complete a push for offensive rookie of the year by leading the Texans to a third straight division title? Or is the Jaguars’ resurgence built to last? Can the Titans overcome their inconsistency and ride Mariota to their first playoff berth in nine years? Is there a Colts miracle in the works? Vote in PFR’s latest poll.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/24/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: WR Kenny Bell
  • Released: TE Gabe Holmes

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

  • Signed: DT Jarrod Clements

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: OL Brandon Thomas
  • Released: OL Norman Price

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

  • Signed: CB Tevin Mitchel

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Browns Place OT Joe Thomas On IR

Browns stalwart left tackle Joe Thomas suffered a torn triceps in Sunday’s loss to the Titans and will miss the remainder of the season, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) was the first to report Thomas had likely torn his triceps. The Browns have since placed Thomas on injured reserve.Joe Thomas (vertical)

Thomas, 32, had not missed a single offensive snap since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2007. That streak is now over at 10,363, but that figure stands as a testament to Thomas’ amazing consistency and resiliency. And Thomas, a nine-time All Pro, hasn’t yet hit a decline, as Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 3 offensive tackle in the league through seven weeks.

The winless Browns turned to Spencer Drango to replace Thomas on Sunday, making the 2016 fifth-round selection the first player other than Thomas to man left tackle in Cleveland since 2006. Drango will presumably continue on the blindside for Cleveland — which ranks a mediocre 18th in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate — but the Browns could also conceivably take a look at fellow tackle Zach Banner, a fourth-round rookie whom Cleveland acquired off waivers from Indianapolis.

With Thomas done for the year, any chance of the Browns reaping draft pick compensation for him via trade is eliminated. Cleveland reportedly had “no intention” of dealing Thomas, who has been oft-mentioned in trade rumors given the Browns’ lack of success on the field and his status as the club’s best player, and Thomas’ health questions would render any theoretical discussions moot. Thomas is signed through the 2018 season, and has a $8.8MM base salary on the books for next season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota To Start In Week 6

The Titans will see the return of quarterback Marcus Mariota on Monday night, as he’s expected to start against the Colts after recovering from a strained hamstring, according to veteran NFL reporter Paul Kuharsky (Twitter link).Marcus Mariota (Vertical)

With Mariota sidelined for Week 5, Tennessee turned to veteran backup Matt Cassel, who couldn’t move the offense in a 16-10 loss to the Dolphins. Cassel completed 21 of 32 attempts for only 141 yards and one touchdown while taking six sacks. Brandon Weeden, signed following Mariota’s injury, served as Cassel’s No. 2, but it’s unclear whether he’ll remain on the roster now that Mariota is available.

The Titans, Texans, and Colts all sit at 2-3, one game behind the AFC South leading Jaguars. Football Outsiders currently gives Tennessee a 24.2% chance of making the playoffs, and those odds should only be buoyed by Mariota’s return. Through four starts, Mariota has completed 60% of his passes for three touchdowns and three interceptions while adding 116 yards and three more scores on the ground.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Teams Targeting Peyton Manning As GM?

Despite making frequent public appearances, including Sunday for a jersey-retirement ceremony in Indianapolis, Peyton Manning has not been involved in football since retiring from the Broncos in March 2016. However, the future Hall of Fame quarterback plans to change that soon.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports Manning “will be back in the NFL next year as a GM,” mentioning the Rams, Browns and Titans as possible landing spots (via Mike Jurecki of Arizonasports.com, on Twitter).

This is indeed strong language regarding Manning accepting a GM job when none are as of now available, but the 41-year-old recent retiree has been connected to both the Titans and Browns as a possible executive and would certainly be a coveted commodity among teams for a front office position.

However, the rumblings connecting Manning to the Titans and Browns were at their strongest in 2015 — when neither Tennessee’s nor Cleveland’s current power structures were in place. Jon Robinson took over as Titans GM in 2016, and Sashi Brown began a polarizing tenure as Browns executive VP that year as well. The Browns’ job could well be available if the team continues to crater like this, but it’s also debatable if Manning would consider the position given the franchise’s lack of success since rebooting.

The Rams were once listed as a possible Manning suitor if he were to have continued playing in 2016 rather than retiring. Los Angeles has Les Snead operating in his sixth season as GM, and while Snead’s tenure hasn’t been especially successful, the franchise kept him around to make a second coaching hire this offseason.

An arrangement like the one the Jaguars now have with Tom Coughlin presiding over GM Dave Caldwell could seemingly be a consideration, and Jurecki notes one of these teams could offer Manning an ownership stake as well. Manning was also connected to the Colts’ GM role before Jim Irsay confirmed that wasn’t a path considered this offseason. A high-level Indianapolis exec job would be waiting for Manning, should he want it, however.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.