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3 Roster-Bubble Titans who need to show up versus Buccaneers

NFL: Tennesee Titans Training Camp George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans will put a bow on this week’s joint practices against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with an actual exhibition contest at Nissan Stadium on Saturday evening. It’s a crucial game given the Titans must make five additional roster cuts (from 85 to 80) by this coming Tuesday afternoon. With roster cuts looming large, we’ve identified three roster-bubble Titans who require a strong showing against the Buccaneers.

A.J. Moore, S

A.J. Moore played a healthy 35 snaps in Tennessee’s Week 1 preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens. It represented 48% of the Titans’ defensive snaps. Moore didn’t string together a fruitful showing, and the Titans have added two safeties since then in Lonnie Johnson Jr. and Tyree Gillespie. Those additions potentially indicated that Titans General Manager Jon Robinson is unhappy with his depth behind Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker at safety. It’s worth noting rookie safety Theo Jackson has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury at recent practices. Moore signed a one-year contract worth $2.5 million with the Titans in unrestricted free agency. His spot on the final roster no longer feels like a sure thing.

Sam Okuayinonu, DL

Okuayinonu joined the Titans as an undrafted free agent out of Maryland. Okuayinonu enjoyed a fruitful campaign for the Terps in 2021, having recorded 55 total tackles and 6.0 sacks in 12 appearances. It made him an intriguing UDFA worth monitoring. Okuayinonu hasn’t flashed much in training camp, and only played nine snaps against the Ravens last weekend. Okuayinonu has been outperformed by veteran fellow roster-bubble D-linemen such as Kevin Strong and Da’Shawn Hand. The Titans already parted ways with one undrafted defensive linemen, having released Haskell Garrett earlier this week. Okuayinonu needs to make an impact against the Bucs.

Trenton Cannon, RB

Trenton Cannon no longer feels like a lock to serve as the Titans’ kick returner. Cannon returned a team-high two kicks against the Ravens, and admittedly looked comfortable in the role. Cannon gained a total of 50 yards via his two kickoffs, including a long of 26. Wide receiver Racey McMath, who’s essentially a lock to make the roster, had the team’s best kick return (30 yards). Fellow receiver Terry Godwin also returned a kick against the Ravens. McMath’s explosiveness and raw speed could allow him to win the role. Furthermore, Cannon was nursing an undisclosed injury at practice this week. Special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman has already confirmed that Cannon and McMath are entrenched in a competition.