NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans hope to have the starting offense all healthy for their season opener against the Oakland Raiders.
It’ll be the first time coach Mike Mularkey will see them together in a game.
Despite rookie Corey Davis not taking a single snap in the preseason, the Titans trimmed down their roster Saturday by keeping only five wide receivers, with a sixth, Tajae Sharpe, placed on injured reserve after reinjuring his right foot. Quarterback Alex Tanney also was placed on injured reserve with a broken foot.
“The roster’s not completely set yet,” Mularkey said. “We’re still in discussions on some things, but for the most part we’re moving forward.”
The Titans waived 33 other players, including wide receiver Eric Weems, signed in March to help boost special teams with a two-year, $2.6 million deal. Others cut include tight ends Jace Amaro and Jerome Cunningham, linebacker Justin Staples and nose tackle Antwaun Woods.
Fullback Joe Bacci, long snapper Ryan DiSalvo, running back Akeem Judd and defensive end Jimmy Staten all were waived as injured.
“That’s the nature of the business,” Mularkey said. “You can rely it’s going to be the same when you start. It is different. We’ve got some injuries there. I think we’re … still looking at the roster at a number of positions, that being one of them. We still feel very confident with where we are right now with that position.”
The fifth pick overall out of Western Michigan , Davis was the first wide receiver selected in the draft. The Titans had so bolstered their wide receivers that keeping six or seven seemed possible. Mularkey said he’s interested in bringing backs Weems, a move likely for after the opener Sept. 10 when the veteran’s salary wouldn’t be guaranteed for the full season.
Davis only returned to practice in a limited fashion Tuesday after hurting a hamstring Aug. 3, and Mularkey said the rookie hopefully will be practicing full speed by the end of the week. Eric Decker, who hurt an ankle Aug. 17, also returned to practice with Davis. Mularkey says he expects both to be available for the opener.
Sharpe had been on the physically unable to perform list recovering from offseason surgery to repair his right foot, and he was activated Aug. 21 . Mularkey said Dr. Bob Anderson cleared Sharpe’s return. But the receiver hurt his foot again in Thursday night’s 30-6 loss to Kansas City.
A year ago, Sharpe had 41 catches for 522 yards, fourth overall behind Rishard Matthews, Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker and Pro Bowl running back DeMarco Murray in receptions. Mularkey said based on their history with such injuries, the Titans felt putting Sharpe on injured reserve to heal would be best for the receiver’s career.
The moves leave the Titans with Marcus Mariota and backup Matt Cassel at quarterback. Walker is one of three tight ends, along with rookie Jonnu Smith and Phillip Supernaw. But the Titans currently have 11 linebackers and 11 defensive backs, including cornerback Kalan Reed who was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2016 draft.
“Again, I’ve been saying it from the very beginning, that special teams will have a big factor in how this roster is built,” Mularkey said.
This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Tanney in the short headline.