Shark Bites

Titans WR Corey Davis told WKRN-TV on Monday that he "feels good" and expects to play Saturday against the Buccaneers. Davis missed a few days of practice and sat out the preseason opener with an undisclosed injury. He referred to the time away only as "maintenance days" after returning to practice over the weekend. We'll keep an eye out for further details. But if Davis stays on the field, then we won't worry too much. It's worth noting that whenever the 2nd-year wideout finally appears in an exhibition, it'll be his 1st as a pro. Davis missed the whole preseason as a rookie while dealing with nagging hamstring trouble.

After visiting with several free-agent safeties, the Titans have reached a deal with former Saints S Kenny Vaccaro, ESPN reports. That comes, of course, after Tennessee lost S Johnathan Cyprien for the season. We'll see if Vaccaro can work his way into the starting lineup alongside S Kevin Byard. Vaccaro's a better fantasy player than real player.

Titans WR Rishard Matthews was on the field running routes and catching passes before Thursday's practice, according to ESPN's Turron Davenport. "He looked fine running routes and even jumped up to catch a couple of errant throws," Davenport tweeted. Matthews remains on the PUP list with an undisclosed injury that's bothered him since the spring, but it sounds like he's getting closer to 100%. A healthy Matthews will go back to being a value at his 11th-round ADP.

The Titans announced Thursday that S Johnathan Cyprien will miss the 2018 season after tearing his left ACL in Wednesday's practice. Fortunately for Tennessee, the free-agent market remains oddly robust with safeties. Big names available include former 49er Eric Reid and former Saint Kenny Vaccaro. We'll see if the Titans add something. Cyprien disappointed IDP owners a year ago, in part because he lost 6 games to a hamstring injury.

Titans beat writers revealed Monday that WR Rishard Matthews is on the PUP list. Matthews has been on it since he arrived at camp, but his status wasn't announced with teammates on the list because he had a different report date, according to Paul Kuharsky. There's still no clarity on exactly what Matthews' injury is or how long we should expect him to be out. Second-year wideout Taywan Taylor has been generating some positive buzz early in camp and could make life tougher for Matthews' target outlook once he returns.

Titans WR Rishard Matthews has missed the first few days of training camp with an undisclosed injury. He also sat out a chunk of spring workouts, presumably with the same issue. We'll continue to look for details on what's ailing Matthews. It's still July, so we're not moving him down the WR rankings yet. But this has become a situation to monitor. Matthews' absence during the season would open up a big opportunity for 2nd-year WR Taywan Taylor.

The Titans and TE Delanie Walker have agreed to a 2-year, $17 million extension. It tacks on to the final year of his current deal, locking Walker up in Tennessee through the 2020 season. The soon-to-be 34-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down, turning in his 4th straight top-8 PPR finish last year. Walker remains a safe bet for mid-level TE1 production in 2018 and is a nice value at his 7th-round ADP.

The Titans on Sunday placed rookie LB Rashaan Evans on the non-football illness list as they opened training camp for all rookies, QBs and players who finished the offseason program with injuries. We've seen nothing further about Evans' illness, so we'll assume it's not a big deal. He's eligible to come off the list at any point during camp. Tennessee also placed 3rd-year OLB Kevin Dodd on the "reserve -- did not report" list. That follows Dodd unexpectedly sitting out offseason workouts. The former 2nd-round pick has appeared in just 18 games through 2 seasons and tallied only 1 sack. We'll see if his future holds any NFL relevance.

The Titans are "counting on [WR Corey] Davis to make a big leap in Year 2," according to Jim Wyatt of the team's official website. Wyatt called Davis "one of the stars during the early portion of offseason work," noting that he "looked smooth during the offseason, snatching the ball out of the air with ease in traffic. He went up high to make some spectacular catches." A hamstring injury wrecked most of Davis' rookie season, but he flashed late with a 6-91 line in Week 16 and then a 5-63-2 in Tennessee's playoff loss to the Patriots. With better health -- and a more modern offense under new OC Matt LaFleur -- Davis is a prime 2018 breakout candidate.

"Explosive" isn't a word we tend to hear associated with QBs. But it's how Titans insider Jim Wyatt described QB Marcus Mariota in this week's OTAs. "It’s already clear he has his wheels back," Wyatt wrote. "He opened it up one day this week, and he was really moving." Mariota has averaged 304 yards and 3 TDs on the ground through his first 3 NFL seasons. But there's upside for more. He topped 700 rushing yards in all 3 years at Oregon and totaled 29 TDs. Mariota clocked a 4.52-second 40 time at the Combine and registered a 96th percentile SPARQ score. We're hoping new OC Matt LaFleur fully unleashes Mariota's rushing ability in 2018.

5:04pm EDT 4/28/18

The Titans selected Washington State QB Luke Falk in the 6th round. Falk’s stock took a hit after a relatively disappointing 2017 season, completing 66.9% of his passes for 3,539 yards and 30 TDs. Those marks were all down from his averages of 69.7% completions, 4,515 yards and 38 TDs across the previous 2 years. Falk is coming from HC Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” offense and will need to adjust to a more pro-style scheme. But he does have the size and arm talent to have a shot to develop into an NFL starter. He’ll open his career competing for backup duties with Blaine Gabbert behind Marcus Mariota.

The Titans traded up to select OLB Harold Landry in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Landry struggled through an injury-shortened final season at Boston College but racked up 16.5 sacks as a junior and 38 total tackles for loss over his sophomore and junior seasons. He'll need to transition to primarily playing with his hand off the ground in Tennessee but presents terrific athleticism and strong pass-rushing moves. He'd sport more IDP upside as a DE than a LB, but there's potential here in pressure-friendly scoring systems.

The Titans traded up from 25th to 22nd in the NFL Draft's 1st round for Alabama LB Rashaan Evans. A versatile player in college, Evans should start right away inside for the Titans, who let Avery Williamson walk in free agency. There will be numbers available for Evans. After playing a lot of edge and seeing more than half of his career snaps last season, though, Evans has a bit more to prove than some other LBs.

The Titans on Tuesday reached a 4-year deal with RB Dion Lewis, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. We'll see about the specific salary, but we'd certainly bet that Tennessee signed Lewis to at least approximate the size of the role DeMarco Murray left behind. The move indicates the Titans don't want Derrick Henry to turn into the clear backfield leader. There's certainly room for both backs to deliver usable fantasy football value, but neither should climb higher than Round 4 -- if that high -- in early best-ball drafting.

Update: Lewis is getting a 4-year, $20 million deal, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

The Titans have named Matt LaFleur their new OC. LaFleur was the Rams OC this past season, although HC Sean McVay called the plays. Prior to that, LaFleur spent 7 seasons working under then-OC Kyle Shanahan in Houston, Washington and Atlanta. If LaFleur brings Shanahan's and McVay's creativity to Tennessee, it'll be excellent news for QB Marcus Mariota and the Titans' skill-position guys.

The Titans have named Mike Vrabel their new HC. The former LB is just 8 years removed from the end of his playing career. He's spent the past 7 in the coaching ranks, most recently serving as the Texans' DC this past season. We'll see who Vrabel hires to run his offense.

The Titans and HC Mike Mularkey have "mutually agreed to part ways," a source tells ESPN's Field Yates. It's a shocker after reports as recent as yesterday that Mularkey would receive a contract extension. He took his squad to the 2nd round of the playoffs this year -- but Tennessee's season still felt disappointing in a lot of ways. Most notable was the gigantic step back QB Marcus Mariota took, tossing 13 TDs and 15 INTs. The Titans also stuck with DeMarco Murray as their lead back for far too long. Let's hope Tennessee brings in a coaching staff with more offensive creativity.

Titans TE Jonnu Smith tore his MCL in Saturday night's loss to the Patriots, HC Mike Mularkey said. Smith is expected to be ready for OTAs. The 3rd-rounder flashed sporadically during his rookie season, hauling in 18 balls for 157 yards and 2 scores. Smith will have a shot at a bigger 2018 role with TE Delanie Walker turning 34 in August. Walker is set to hit free agency after next season.

Titans S Johnathan Cyprien (back) is active for today's game against the 49ers. He remains a high-risk IDP option after missing the full week of practice.

Titans S Johnathan Cyprien is questionable for Sunday's game against the 49ers. He missed practice all week with a lower-back injury. We'd try not to use him in IDP lineups even if he turns up active. We'll have to wait until about 3 p.m. ET Sunday to update his game status.


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