A day after going 0 for 4 on field goal attempts, kicker Cairo Santos has been released by the Titans along with backup offensive lineman David Quessenberry.
This basically had to happen after a horrific showing from the 27-year old kicker. He missed kicks from 33, 36, 50, and 53 on a day that saw the Titans lose by 7 points. It looked to me like the first miss of the game from 50 got in his head and rattled him. Kickers can be finicky and when it comes to the mental side of the game, once the confidence goes it can be hard to get back.
Obviously, Ryan Succop doesn’t hit 100% of his attempts so this is a bit unfair, but Santos misses have played a big role in two of the Titans three losses this season. His missed 45-yarder against the Colts wound up being the difference between a potential 20-19 Titans win and the 19-17 loss that transpired along with the missed kicks from yesterday.
Quessenberry’s story of beating non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and returning to the NFL is inspirational and he was able to contribute a touchdown catch against the Colts on a trick play as an extra offensive lineman, but Taylor Lewan’s return had put the Titans at 11 players at that spot and that’s simply too many. I’m honestly a bit surprised that they’re continuing to carry 10 there with everyone besides Pamphile healthy.
The team now has two empty spots on the 53-man roster available. Obviously, one will be filled with a kicker. Ryan Succop is not eligible to return from injured reserve until Week 9 so the Titans will be signing another new kicker this week before traveling to Denver.
Cody Parkey — he of “double doink” fame with the Bears — was the other kicker the team brought in with Santos when they were looking to replace Succop prior to the opener. I would suspect he might get another shot, but there will likely be another round of tryouts going on at Saint Thomas Sports Park on Tuesday (the usual day for the team to bring in outside guys for a look). My guess is we find out who the next kicker is on Wednesday.
The other roster spot seems likely to go to a running back or edge rusher. The Titans are currently carrying just two backs on the 53-man roster in Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis after David Fluellen was put on IR last week. The edge situation is getting a little thin again as well as Cameron Wake missed the Bills game and Sharif Finch suffered a shoulder injury that knocked him out of the contest early.
The Titans have a few practice squad options in running back Dalyn Dawkins and edge rushers Amani Bledsoe and Derick Roberson to call up if needed. They could also look to the veteran free agent market.