NASHVILLE – After two games, the ripple effect of the Tennessee Titans’ decision to sign Jadeveon Clowney has become a bit clearer.
Sure, it cost wide receiver Cameron Batson his spot on the roster. More notably, though, it has cost Kamalei Correa playing time. Lots of it. Batson has spent the past two weeks on the practice squad, but he also spent more time on the field during Sunday’s 33-30 victory over Jacksonville than Correa has in the season’s first two contests.
Franchise officials did not spend more than $12 million on Clowney, a three-time Pro Bowler, to ease him into the lineup. He played 47 of 59 defensive snaps in the victory at Denver and 62 of 75 in the home-opener against Jacksonville. To date, he has been credited with five tackles, three quarterback pressures, one tackle for loss.
Batson was released to make room for Clowney and has not yet returned to the active roster.
However, this year teams can add two practice squad players to their game-day rosters, and this week Batson was one of those two. He was on the field for 34 snaps, as many as slot receiver Adam Humphries, and tied his career-high with two receptions (for 28 yards). Only once in his career, which consists of 12 appearances, has he seen more action.
His contributions helped offset the absence of A.J. Brown, who was sidelined by a knee injury.
“He was a player that took aAdvantage of his opportunities,” coach Mike Vrabel said Monday. “Handed it to him and also had some had some good catches. He was prepared, was able to step in there and do a couple things that really helped us win. … It's good to see him take advantage of being active and getting some snaps for us.”
As required by current rules, Batson returned to the practice squad Monday, but it is clear that he could be back on the field at any time, depending on circumstances.
The situation with Correa is not as obvious.
He became a significant contributor to the Titans’ defense late last season and was their most consistent pass rusher during the second half of the season. He had five sacks in the final eight games of the regular season and two more in the three playoff contests. His decision to re-sign with Tennessee this offseason was viewed as critical to the continuity of the defense.
Everything changed with Clowney’s addition. Correa was on the field with the defense for just 17 plays at Denver and 12 against Jacksonville. Through two weeks, he has been credited with two tackles and two quarterback pressures.
Among the team’s outside linebackers, only Harold Landry has seen more action than Clowney, who had less than a week of practice before he made his Titans’ debut.
“We're going to just try to get the guys in there,” Vrabel said. “I don't know how many snaps is too much or too little. We all have a job to do. Their job is to be ready to play every play, and if they don't then they'll be ready to play whenever they get back in there. I don't really know how to gauge that.
“If they're healthy then they're going to play, and then if they're not asking for a break. We'll just try to determine that each and every week, how the rotation goes or who we have available.”
Available to work around Clowney, apparently.