The preseason emergence of Darius Reynaud as a running back and kick returner may be forcing the Tennessee Titans to rethink the roster in terms of the position.
Chris Johnson, of course, is locked in as the starter, and the Titans have Javon Ringer and Jamie Harper as backups. But Reynaud, a former wide receiver, is making a strong case for the 53-man roster with consecutive strong games in preseason. He leads the team with 104 yards rushing on just 12 carries, including a 39-yarder Friday night.
Plus, he had been dynamic as a kick returner, with a 42-yard kickoff return against the Bucs, an 85-yard punt return for a TD against Seattle and a nifty 44.7 yard per punt return average.
“He's a great story. He's in the middle of back-to-back games of making a difference in the run game and the return game, giving us good field position,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “He's been practicing well. … He's a guy that's taken advantage of the opportunities he's been given. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out over the next couple of weeks.”
One potential solution to carrying an extra running back to make room for Reynaud is to shift Harper to the fullback spot, a position where Collin Mooney and Quinn Johnson are currently battling, but a spot that now only gets a handful of snaps per game.
“He got a couple of snaps last night at it. He did that some last year also, for emergencies when we had some fullback problems,” Munchak said of Harper. “That's a possibility and the more he can do, the better to help us with numbers or injuries. We're going to put him in that spot every so often because it gets him on the field more, and we'll see how he can handle it.
“He's willing to move to the fullback role. A lot of running backs would not want to do that. He's very open to it, so it's just a matter of getting him reps, but again that's hard to do when you've got two other guys competing for the spot with a limited amount of reps.”