Dalyn Dawkins did not simply play his way on to the roster with his performance in the Tennessee Titans’ preseason finale against Chicago.
According to his position coach, it was the work that the running back put in last week and last season that made him one of the 53 players who will start the season on the active roster.
Dawkins became one of three NFL players who rushed for 100 yards or more in a game during the preseason when he carried 13 times for 117 yards at Chicago last Thursday. That performance alone made him the Titans’ leading rusher in the preseason. Jeremy McNichols was second with 108 yards on 26 carries.
Dawkins missed the second and third contests with an injury but still managed 152 yards on 23 carries in the two games he did play. His 6.6 yards-per-carry average was the most by a Tennessee running back with at least 20 preseason attempts since Chris Johnson averaged 7.8 in 2013.
He also caught five passes for 35 yards and two touchdowns, which head coach Mike Vrabel said was an area coaches asked him to improve from last year.
Undrafted out of Colorado State, Dawkins opened the 2018 season on the Titans practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster for three weeks in late September-early October and again for three weeks in late November-early December.
He played in one game and did not touch the ball.
Running backs coach Tony Dews, said that Dawkins’ consistent work ethic, regardless of his status, earned him the opportunity to start this season on the roster.