Sigh. The Tennessee Titans placed four players on the Covid-Reserve List on Monday afternoon, including wide receiver Julio Jones and outside linebacker Bud Dupree.
The @Titans have placed four active players on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list: WR Julio Jones, OLB Bud Dupree, DB Buster Skrine, and WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
Activated from COVID-IR: G Rodger Saffold and DB Elijah Molden.
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) December 27, 2021
As noted in Jim Wyatt’s tweet, receiver Nick Westbrook and cornerback Buster Skrine have also been placed on the list. This news obviously places their availability for Tennessee’s Week 17 game against the Miami Dolphins in doubt. The new rules make it possible for them to return in quicker fashion, but their status for Sunday’s potential division-clinching showdown now hangs in the balance. Jones, Dupree, Skrine and Westbrook join Taylor Lewan, Kendall Lamm and Nate Davis on the list. Lewan, Lamm and Davis were placed on the list days ago, and are expected to clear protocols before Sunday.
Jones hasn’t been very productive as of late, but the Titans are a better offensive team with him on the field. He’s at least been dictating coverage in recent showings. To add insult to injury, his replacement in the lineup would be Westbrook, who is also on the Covid-Reserve List. Should Jones and Westbrook fail to clear protocols in time for Sunday, Cody Hollister would likely start opposite A.J. Brown on the outside with Chester Rogers in the slot. Dez Fitzpatrick and/or Racey McMath may also be active. Or perhaps we’ll get our first look at Golden Tate?
Should Dupree be unavailable, Derick Roberson would likely be active while seeing some snaps opposite Harold Landry. The ever-versatile Denico Autry would also see an increased role on the edge, with the likes of Teair Tart/Naquan Jones/Larrell Murchison/Kyle Peko replacing Autry inside.
Shout out to Broadway Sports’ Zach Lyons (Of the F Words Pod) for quickly highlighting the new return-to-play protocols initiated by the NFL/NFLPA.
— Football & Other F Words (@FWordsPod) December 27, 2021
In good news, defensive back Elijah Molden and guard Rodger Saffold were activated off the Covid-Reserve List, and should play in Sunday’s game against Miami. Both players should immediately recapture their roles in Tennessee’s starting lineup. Molden could replace Skrine, with Jackrabbit Jenkins seeing more snaps on the outside than he saw on Thursday. Saffold should start at left guard, with Aaron Brewer potentially moving to right guard should Davis fail to clear protocols.
Also on Monday, the Titans signed offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi to the team’s practice squad while releasing defensive back Nate Brooks. Ogbuehi was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and has 30 starts under his belt. He most recently played for the Baltimore Ravens earlier this month.
Hopefully this is the end of Tennessee’s outbreak. As always, stay tuned to MCM for all roster updates with in-depth reactions and analysis.