Defensive end Takkarist McKinley has joined the Tennessee Titans’ practice team, as reported by NFL writer Tom Pelissero. McKinley was one of the top drafts in 2017, sitting at No. 26 overall.
He began his career in NFL by playing with the Atlanta Falcons until 2020. Then, McKinley played with the San Las Vegas Raiders before moving to the Cleveland Browns.
McKinley did not get any playing chance during his short-lived tenure with the Raiders due to a groin injury that put him on injured reserve from the beginning. He signed with the Browns in March 2021 where he got to play 11 games with the team as a backup for Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. He gained 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble last season.
Throughout his professional career, he has played in 60 games and made 27 starts. He has also made 20 sacks which were recorded from 2017 to 2018.
Tennessee’s decision to sign McKinley was reportedly related to Harold Landry’s injury. Landry sustained a significant ACL injury during the team’s practice at the beginning of September.
Landry, the last season’s Pro Bowler, is a top defensive player on the team, starting all games for the Titans in the last three campaigns. He contributed 12 sacks for the Titans last season and helped the team lead the AFC.
Bud Dupree is slated as Landry’s main replacement with Rashad Weaver and Olasunkanmi Adeniyi following him in the rotation. Weaver played in this season’s Week 1 when the Titans lost to the New York Giants 21-20. He recorded two sacks in that game.
The Titans’ defense also has a rising star, DE Jeffery Simmons. Pro Football Focus ranked Simmons as the third-best defender of the season. He recorded a 26.9 percent pass-rush win rate when facing the Giants last week. McKinley is expected to strengthen this defense squad.
For Week 2, Tennessee is scheduled to face the Buffalo Bills on Monday at the opponent’s home base, Highmark Stadium. The Bills just defeated the L.A. Rams 31-10 in the season opener.
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