Titans Bring Back Former Special Teams Captain

Mike Hogan

The Tennessee Titans and Daren Bates couldn’t stay far apart for too long.

According to multiple reports, the Titans have added the 29-year-old inside linebacker to their practice squad. He spent the past three seasons on their active roster and in 2018 was voted a special teams captain.

Bates celebrated his return with a brief post to his Twitter page.

Bates hit the free-agent market after the 2019 season. He signed with the Houston Texans in the middle of training camp this summer but was released soon thereafter. A seven-year veteran who has played for three different franchises, he is eligible for the practice squad this season under amended rules designed to help teams deal with roster issues related to COVID-19, should they arise.

Playing in 45 out of a possible 48 games for Tennessee, Bates led the Titans with 11 special teams tackles in 2019 after he finished second each the previous two years, including 2017 when he notched a career-high 16 stops. He was credited with seven total tackles on defense during his time with the Titans, including a career-high six in 2018.

The Titans effectively filled his roster sport early in the offseason with the addition of linebacker Nick Dzubnar, a special teams stalwart with the Chargers for the past five seasons.

Prior to his time with Tennessee, Bates, who has made a name for himself as a special teams player, spent each of the last three seasons with the Titans.

His addition came just one day after the Titans worked out five inside linebackers, including Bates. Undrafted out of Auburn in 2013, Bates spent three seasons with the St. Louis Rams and one with the Oakland Raiders before he landed with the Titans.

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