Give Jeremy McNichols credit for perseverance.
For the first time in nearly two years, the 24-year-old running back has an actual spot on the Tennessee Titans’ 53-man roster. Franchise officials signed McNichols off the practice squad Wednesday and placed veteran running back Senorise Perry on injured reserved.
McNichols was in uniform for the first two games of this season and played sparingly on offense in each. However, in those cases he was one of two practice squad players elevated to the roster for gameday under a new rule put in place this season to help teams deal with potential roster issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the rules, he immediately returned to the practice squad the next day.
A fifth-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2017, he is now positioned to set a career-high for games played in a season. He appeared in two with San Francisco as a rookie and one each in 2018 (Indianapolis) and 2019 (Jacksonville).
In all that time, he had two rushes for four yards. Sunday against Jacksonville, he carried two times for seven yards.
McNichols first joined the Titans when they signed him off Denver’s practice squad late in 2018. He deactivated for three of that season’s final four contests. He was in uniform for the other but never got on the field.
In 2019, he spent the entire offseason and training with Tennessee and was one of the team’s top performers in the preseason. Franchise officials kept Dalyn Dawkins instead of him as their third running back. He spent time late in the season with Chicago and Jacksonville.
The Jaguars released him this May and he remained unsigned until the Titans brought him back near the end of training camp. He was one of the first 13 players signed to the practice squad in the wake of the roster cuts at the end of the preseason.