NASHVILLE – Tennessee Titans coaches liked what they saw of Derrick Roberson during training camp and the preseason.
The third-year outside linebacker has not seen any action since the opening week of the regular season, however. A knee injury sidelined him for two games before he was placed injured reserve.
The Titans returned Roberson to the 53-man roster on Tuesday, three weeks after he was designated for return to practice. Additionally, they signed linebacker Dylan Cole, one of the heroes of Sunday’s victory over the New Orleans Saints, to the active roster from the practice squad, and wide receiver Cody Hollister was brought back to the practice squad.
With those moves, the Titans (8-2) now have 52 players on the active roster, which means they have room to add one more before Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans (1-8) at Nissan Stadium.
Roberson, who celebrared his 26th birthday on Monday, registered three tackles, half a sack and two quarterback hits in the preseason. He followed that up with three tackles in the Week 1 loss to Arizona before the injury shut him down.
Undrafted out of Sam Houston State in 2019, he has appeared in 12 games (one start) and has registered 18 tackles with three sacks and five quarterback hits in his career. All of his sacks came during his rookie season.
“I think he's grown up,” defensive coordinator Shane Bowen said following the final preseason game. “I think he's become more of a pro this year than he has been in the past. Part of that is maturity. They're young guys when they come out of college, and now they're getting adjusted, first time on their own, all that stuff, so I think it's been a process for him.
“But I think he's matured, and I think it carries over in his day-to-day, how he practices, and then obviously that carries over to gameday.”
Cole was a standard elevation to the active roster from the practice squad for Sunday’s game against the Saints. His forced fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half set up a touchdown that gave the Titans a 14-point lead, their biggest of the afternoon. He had been on the practice squad for just over a week.
Hollister, on the other hand, has spent a lot of time on Tennessee’s practice squad, where he spent the majority of the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He was expected to battle for a spot on the active roster this season but ended up on injured reserve with a knee injury early in training camp and released fewer than two weeks later.
For his career, he has three receptions for 25 yards in seven appearances for the Titans.