Titans Put Mariani on IR, Add QB, Colts Bradshaw Nearing Return

Now that the 53-man rosters are complete, NFL teams are assembling their practice squads. For the Tennessee Titans, they initially cut quarterback Rusty Smith but he cleared waivers and now he’s back on the team’s practice squad, reported The Tennessean.

For Smith, he was drafted by the Titans in 2010 and in his initial three seasons, for nine games he hasn’t been on the active roster. This allows him to keep his eligibility for the practice squad.

The Titans now have three quarterbacks on its roster and they could look for a fourth, young one to groom. For now, Jake Locker sits as the starting quarterback, followed by Ryan Fitzpatrick as the team’s backup.

Once Smith signs with the team, he’ll join five other players on this year’s practice squad. It includes the following players who were with the team for training camp. With the exception of Wooten, the others had been undrafted rookies:

DT Stefan Charles
FB Collin Mooney
WR Rashad Ross
LB Jonathan Willard
CB Khalid Wooten

Marc Mariani

Marc Mariani

In other Titans roster news, the team placed wide receiver/returner Pro Bowler Marc Mariani  on injured reserve; he will miss his second straight season.

From the 2012 preseason, he suffered a broken leg and then returned to this year’s preseason before injuring his shoulder in Week 1. He was out for the rest of August and now the team has decided to already end his 2013 season after speculation that he could have returned later in the season.

Mariani said of the news, “The competitor in me wants nothing more than to play football. When I first got the news, it was hard for me to swallow. I didn’t really think my season would be over today. So it is a little hard. But I am also very blessed. I am blessed to have an organization that has faith in me and wants to invest in me as a football player and a person and keep me in the building.”

The Titans ended the preseason 1-3 and will roll the dice that Locker will be their guy this year. They have a regular win season total at 6 1/2 (even o/-130 u) and a -800 no to make the playoffs.

Colts Bradshaw Nearing Return

After missing the entire preseason, Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw is getting close to his return. He has been recovering from foot surgery done in January.

Ahmad Bradshaw

Ahmad Bradshaw

Bradshaw, who also joined the Colts in January on a one-year contract, has struggled with foot injuries before but his future looks good as his coach Chuck Pagano has hopes the player will be ready for the season opener against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Pagano said via the Indianapolis Star on Sunday, “I think he’s in a really good place mentally. I know physically, he’s real close to getting back and hopefully we’ll increase his snaps this week and hopefully he’s ready for this game.”

For Bradshaw, 27, he was drafted by the New York Giants in 2007 and was released by them last season after rushing for 1,015 yards and in 2010, he ran for 1,235 yards.

On the Colts he’ll share the workload with fellow running backs, Vick Ballard and Donald Brown, but he is expected to get a large portion of the carries.

Bradshaw said of the opportunity via the Indianapolis Star, “My expectations are to come out and play my hardest, run the ball hard and make plays for my offense. I want to just be the guy who gets that first down when we need it, or that touchdown. I want to be the guy who comes through when it counts.”

Will he be a difference maker?

The Colts ended the preseason at 2-2. Their quarterback Andy Luck doesn’t bring a lot of expectations for a sophomore slump and he sits at 18/1 for the most passing yards this season with 27 1/2 passing touchdowns  (-115 o/u).



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