Cruikshank becomes the third former Titan to join the Bears this offseason, following their previous additions of running back Darrynton Evans, and fullback Khari Blasingame. It’s unclear whether or not the Titans had interest in retaining Cruikshank’s services, but they should have. The Titans signed free-agent safety A.J. Moore earlier this season, so perhaps they had already moved on from Cruikshank.
The 152nd selection in the fifth-round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Cruikshank quickly became a mainstay on special teams. The former Arizona standout also struggled with multiple injuries throughout his time in Tennessee, but eventually earned more playing time on the defensive side of the ball, a development which led to a career-best season in 2021. As the campaign gradually continued, Cruikshank began serving as Tennessee’s designated coverage linebacker in a hybrid safety-linebacker type-role near the line of scrimmage. Cruikshank flashed the ability to play man coverage on opposing tight ends. His instincts, play speed and overall physicality made Cruikshank an intriguing player in coverage. In Week 7, Cruikshank helped limit Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce to seven receptions and 65 yards while holding him scoreless in a dominant 27-3 Titans win. Later in Week 16, Cruikshank essentially eliminated San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle from their game plan by holding him to two catches for 21 yards in another Titans victory.
Cruikshank was an excellent Day 3 selection by Robinson. In four career seasons as a Titan, Cruikshank appeared in 44 games, making four starts. He recorded 65 total defensive tackles, two fumbles forced, and one interception. Cruikshank also scored a touchdown on special teams, and added a plethora of tackles and impact plays on special teams.
Hopefully Cruikshank can continue his defensive ascension in Chicago. He deserves an opportunity to earn more playing time going forward. The MCM community wishes Cruikshank nothing but the best in his next journey.