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3 surprise cuts the Titans could make

The Titans will begin finalizing their initial 53-man roster this weekend

NFL: Preseason-Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans play the New England Patriots on Friday in their final preseason contest. It represents the last opportunity for roster-bubble players to make an impression. The Titans could begin trimming their 90-man roster down to 53 as early as this weekend. The Titans currently have 89 players, so general manager Ran Carthon must waive 36 players prior to Tuesday’s mid-afternoon deadline.

We’ve swiftly identified three potential roster cuts that would qualify as surprising. These predictions are fairly bold. Forgive us if these projections don’t reach fruition.


This would be significantly more realistic (albeit still bold) if Treylon Burks and Kyle Philips hadn’t gotten hurt. Burks and Philips are legitimately questionable for Week 1. The Titans probably can’t cut Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, who may start on the outside opposite DeAndre Hopkins if Burks is unavailable.

Carthon played hardball with Westbrook-Ikhine’s contract earlier this offseason. Westbrook-Ikhine has also played heavy snaps throughout the preseason, which indicates his job wasn’t fully safe. Westbrook-Ikhine wasn’t a roster lock, but injury may have altered his fortunes.


Monty Rice entered training camp as the in-house favorite to start next to Azeez Al-Shaair. He’s since lost the job to Jack Gibbens while playing seven defensive snaps through two exhibition games. Head coach Mike Vrabel looked displeased when calling Rice “unavailable.” The former third-round pick out of Georgia has suffered several injuries since joining the Titans in 2021.

Is Rice safe on the 53-man roster? We legitimately have no idea. But the Titans have terrific depth at the position, and could consider releasing Rice outright. Luke Gifford, Chance Campbell, and Ben Niemann have all put forth strong efforts throughout the preseason.


Chris Hubbard has consistently worked as the first-team right tackle since the team released JaMarco Jones. The results have been fairly mixed. Justin Murray has recently made a strong claim to be the team’s right tackle. If Murray wins the job, Chris Hubbard could be on the chopping block altogether.

Murray is more versatile, having played both guard and tackle. If Murray is the starter, then the Titans could opt to keep Jaelyn Duncan ahead of Hubbard, who’s younger and cheaper. All signs indicate Hubbard is still the starter, but if things change, his roster spot could be in jeopardy.