Three weeks ago, Tennessee Titans coaches went out of their way to say the Darius Jennings was a valued and trusted member of the team.
Thursday, Jennings was released. The wide receiver/returner became the latest victim of the Titans’ seemingly constant search for additional – and specific – offensive line depth.
Hroniss Grasu was re-signed amid concerns that starting center Ben Jones will be unavailable for Sunday’s game at Carolina. Jones did not take part in Wednesday’s workout because he is in the concussion protocol. His status for Sunday is undetermined.
A third-round pick by Chicago in 2015, Grasu has played 17 games in his NFL career, including 12 starts at center with the Bears. His most recent start was at left guard last season with Baltimore.
This is the second time this season Grasu has been re-signed. Tennessee brought him back after the opener and in four weeks on the active roster he was inactive three times and did not play in the one game for which he dressed (Atlanta). He was released on Oct. 8.
A college teammate of Marcus Mariota’s at Oregon, Grasu lives with Mariota when he is in Nashville.
Jennings was the Titans’ primary kickoff returner for the first seven weeks but was inactive for Sunday’s victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He averaged 21.0 yards on seven returns and caught two passes for 17 yards, including a key third-down conversion in the Week 4 victory over Atlanta that generated public support from coaches. He played all 16 games for Tennessee in 2018.
With Jennings, gone, Kalif Raymond is in line to handle the return duties.
Raymond made the 53-man roster out of training camp but was waived two days before the opener and was replaced by an extra offensive lineman (Aaron Stinnie) after veteran backup Kevin Pamphile sustained a knee injury. He was added to the practice squad following the opener and remained there until he was returned to the active roster last week and served as the kickoff returner against the Buccaneers. He took back one kick for 45 yards.