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Titans designate CB Elijah Molden to return

Tennessee’s preferred nickel corner is nearing a return

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans designated cornerback Elijah Molden to return to practice from IR on Wednesday morning, the team announced via social media. The move triggers Molden’s 21-day window to be activated. Molden will practice with the Titans on Wednesday.

Molden has been sidelined with a serious groin injury. Molden was initially placed on Injured Reserve back on September 9 after missing a long stretch of practices. Molden has yet to make his 2022 debut as a result.

Some foreshadowed this move was nearing when the Titans waived cornerback Ugo Amadi earlier this week. Amadi had been a healthy scratch in recent weeks, but was previously viewed as somewhat of a like-for-like replacement for Molden in the slot. The Titans’ roster currently sits at 52. Molden will eventually become the 53rd player on Tennessee’s roster.

The No. 100 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Molden was expected to serve as Tennessee’s starting nickel corner when matching 11 personnel this season. Defensive coordinator Shane Bowen has been forced to shuffle some things around due to Molden’s absence.

Amadi began the season as a nickel corner. Starting cornerback Roger McCreary has moved outside to inside on occasion. In recent weeks, the Titans have been utilizing starting safety Amani Hooker in that role in three-safety looks that also allows the surging Andrew Adams to get on the field.

Molden should receive immediate playing time upon his return, but he may gradually grow into last season’s heavy role that sometimes saw him play 100% of Tennessee’s defensive snaps. Adams is playing well and deserves playing time. Terrance Mitchell will also supplant McCreary outside on occasion.

Molden appeared in 16 regular-season contests for the Titans last season. He totaled 62 tackles, four passes defended, 3.0 tackles for loss, one interception, one fumble forced, one fumble recovered and one defensive touchdown. Molden scored a coverage grade of 64.7 from Pro Football Focus. Molden probably won’t play against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, but his return is nearing.