Dontrell Hilliard

Tennessee Titans
Running Back #26
Tennessee Titans
Running Back #26

Dontrell Hilliard News

Back with Tennessee

Hilliard signed a contract with the Titans on Saturday, John Glennon of SI.com reports.

Analysis: Hilliard saw the most extensive playing time of his NFL career in 2021 thanks to Derrick Henry's injury absence, and he totaled 56 carries for 350 yards and two touchdowns while catching 19 passes for 87 yards. He should remain in a backup role next season and is unlikely to see much time in the backfield if Henry remains healthy.

Mar 19, 2022 9:57 PM EST


Backfield gets more crowded

Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports that the Titans have activated Derrick Henry (foot) from injured reserve ahead of Saturday's game against the Bengals, adding more competition for touches in a Titans backfield that already includes Hilliard and D'Onta Foreman.

Analysis: Henry's return is likely to torpedo Foreman's fantasy value, but Hilliard may not see his touches impacted as much. Prior to getting hurt in Week 8, Henry had a near monopoly on early-down touches but Jeremy McNichols played in passing situations. Hilliard has slid into McNichols' role recently, pushing McNichols down to the practice squad. Look for Hilliard to continue to play on third downs and in the two-minute drill in the divisional round.

Jan 21, 2022 1:40 PM EST



Works efficiently in win

Hilliard rushed the ball nine times for 57 yards in Sunday's 28-25 win over the Texans. He added one reception for one yard.

Analysis: Hilliard once again worked behind D'Onta Foreman, though he nearly out-gained Foreman with 12 fewer carries. He tallied three rushes that went for 10 or more yards to average 6.3 yards per carry. Though Hilliard has worked efficiently with his recent uptick in opportunity, he is likely to fade down the depth chart with the impending return of Derrick Henry (foot) for Tennessee's playoff run.

Jan 9, 2022 10:32 PM EST


Punches in garbage-time score

Hilliard recorded eight carries for 45 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 34-3 win over the Dolphins. He added three receptions for 33 yards.

Analysis: Hilliard faded well behind D'Onta Foreman for the top running back role, as he was out-touched 26-11. While his final line is relatively strong, the majority of his work came in garbage time. For example, he accounted for 39 of his rushing yards on a scamper to the end zone with under two minutes remaining in the game and the Titans already up by 24. Heading into a Week 18 matchup against the Texans that Tennessee will be focused on winning in order to clinch the number one seed in the AFC, Foreman should be projected to serve as the primary back in Tennessee with Hilliard serving a complementary role.

Jan 2, 2022 9:33 PM EST


Role slips

Hilliard rushed the ball five times for 20 yards in Thursday's 20-17 win over San Francisco. He added two receptions for -6 yards.

Analysis: Hilliard finished third on the team in rush attempts behind both D'Onta Foreman and Jeremy McNichols. He was effective when given an opportunity, picking up decent gains of nine and seven yards in his role as the change-of-pace back. However, Hilliard's involvement as a receiver out of the backfield was disappointing, as he managed only two receptions after posting four catches in the team's Week 15 loss to Pittsburgh. Though Tennessee seems content to cycle through three players in its backfield, Hilliard's role appears to be slipping in favor of McNichols.

Dec 23, 2021 9:50 PM EST



Picks up four receptions

Hilliard recorded nine rushes for 49 yards in Sunday's 19-13 loss to Pittsburgh. He added four receptions for 10 yards.

Analysis: Hilliard was the clear second back behind D'Onta Foreman, picking up nine carries as opposed to Foreman's 22. However, he made the most of his opportunities by averaging 5.4 yards per carry with the help of a long gain of 15 yards. Of equal importance, Hilliard maintained his role as the top receiver out of the backfield and finished second on the team with six targets. Hilliard's upside is limited somewhat by the disappointing state of the Titans' offense, but he has maintained significant involvement -- particularly as a pass catcher.

Dec 19, 2021 3:13 PM EST


Limited to 13 yards

Hilliard carried the ball six times for 13 yards in Sunday's 20-0 win over Jacksonville.

Analysis: Hilliard was the third back in the Titans' running back rotation, as D'Onta Foreman earned 15 touches and Jeremy McNichols got eight touches. Even in the work he did receive, Hilliard was unimpressive by averaging only 2.2 yards per carry with his longest gain going for four yards. Though Hilliard had an impressive Week 12 performance, Tennessee's backfield is now split three ways which will make it difficult for him to get enough volume to consistently produce.

Dec 12, 2021 7:39 PM EST


Stellar in expanded opportunity

Hilliard rushed 12 times for 131 yards and a touchdown while also bringing in one of two targets for two yards in the Titans' 36-13 loss to the Patriots on Sunday. He also lost a fumble.

Analysis: Just over half of Hilliard's rushing yardage tally came on a 68-yard touchdown run with 37 seconds remaining in the first half. However, Hilliard was highly efficient with his other 11 carries as well, and although he did lose a fumble, so did backfield mate D'Onta Foreman. Given each back surpassed the 100-yard mark Sunday, it remains to be seen how the workload will be split between them in a Week 14 home matchup versus the Jaguars following a Week 13 bye.

Nov 28, 2021 3:59 PM EST


Pass-catching role awaits

Hilliard is expected to serve as Tennessee's No. 2 back behind starter D'Onta Foreman in Sunday's game against the Patriots, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.

Analysis: Though Foreman is expected to see the larger share of carries among the two backs, Hilliard should be the Titans' preferred option on passing downs. With his main competition for the role, Jeremy McNichols (concussion), set to miss a second straight game, Hilliard could end up handling a larger snap share than Foreman if the Titans fall behind early and are forced into catchup mode. That scenario played out in last week's 22-13 loss to the Texans, and Hilliard was able to catch in with 35 yards on seven carries to go with eight receptions for 47 yards on 10 targets.

Nov 28, 2021 6:26 AM EST


Secures spot on Tennessee roster

Tennessee signed Hilliard to its 53-man roster Wednesday, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.

Analysis: After being elevated off the practice squad for Week 11, Hilliard submitted a performance that was one of the few silver linings in the Titans' 22-13 loss to the Texans on Sunday. While serving in a change-of-pace role while Jeremy McNichols (concussion) was sidelined, Hilliard played 63 percent of the offensive snaps, finishing with seven carries for 35 yards and eight receptions for 47 yards on 10 targets. Though McNichols could be back for the Titans' Week 12 game at New England, Hilliard's outing was enough to convince Tennessee to keep him on the roster over seven-time Pro Bowler Adrian Peterson, who was waived in a corresponding move. Despite his excellent showing Week 11, Hilliard could take more of a back seat to D'Onta Foreman and/or McNichols when the Titans are following a more positive game script than they did versus the Texans.

Nov 23, 2021 2:14 PM EST


Totals 80 yards

Hilliard carried the ball seven times for 35 yards in Sunday's 22-13 loss to the Texans. He added eight receptions on 10 targets for 47 yards.

Analysis: Hilliard was elevated from the practice squad prior to the game to fill in for Jeremy McNichols (concussion). Hilliard did his best McNichols impression by leading the team in targets and receptions. He also mixed in on the ground, matching D'Onta Foreman with seven carries in the game while also running effectively by ripping off gains of 16, 11 and seven yards. Hilliard did make a key mistake when he fumbled on a reception near the goal line, though the Titans did manage to recover for a touchdown. Assuming McNichols is able to pass through concussion protocol, Hilliard may not return to the active roster for a Week 12 matchup against New England.

Nov 21, 2021 8:31 PM EST


Elevated by Titans

Hilliard was elevated from the Titans' practice squad ahead of Sunday's game against the Texans, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.

Analysis: Hilliard will rejoin the active roster for the first time since Week 8. He didn't play any offensive snaps during his season debut but will provide depth in the backfield Sunday since Jeremy McNichols (concussion) has been ruled out.

Nov 20, 2021 5:02 PM EST


Returns to practice squad

Hilliard reverted to the Titans' practice squad Monday, per the NFL's official transactions report.

Analysis: Hilliard played 16 snaps on special teams Week 8, but he failed to record any stats. With Derrick Henry (ankle) expected to miss 6-10 weeks, Hilliard could end up handling an expanded depth role for Tennessee going forward.

Nov 2, 2021 5:20 AM EST


Called up for Sunday's game

Hilliard will be added to the active roster for Sunday's game against the Colts, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.

Analysis: Hilliard just joined the practice squad earlier in the week and will revert there after the game. He'll provide depth at running back and on special teams.

Oct 30, 2021 12:27 PM EST


Lands on Titans' practice squad

Tennessee signed Hilliard to the practice squad Wednesday, Jim Wyatt of the team's official site reports.

Analysis: Hilliard suited up for seven total contests between the Texans and Browns last season. Now, the versatile running back and return man will get a chance to develop with the Titans' scout team.

Oct 27, 2021 8:54 AM EST


Works out with Panthers

Hilliard worked out with the Panthers on Friday, Joe Person of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Hilliard was waived by the Texans with an injury settlement in mid-August, but he's back to full health. He was one of four running backs that Carolina brought in for workouts Friday after Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) suffered an injury Thursday.

Sep 24, 2021 6:04 PM EST


Reaches injury settlement

The Texans waived Hilliard (undisclosed) with an injury settlement Thursday, NFL reporter Aaron Wilson reports.

Analysis: Hilliard initially reverted to injured reserve after he was waived/injured by the Texans on Monday, but he'll be free to sign elsewhere following his injury settlement. It's not yet clear what injury the running back is dealing with or how much time he'll be forced to miss.

Aug 19, 2021 5:04 PM EST


Back on IR

Hilliard (undisclosed) reverted to the Texans' injured reserve list after clearing waivers, NFL reporter Aaron Wilson reports.

Analysis: Hilliard was waived/injured by the team Monday and went unclaimed on waivers, meaning he'll spend the rest of the 2021 season on Houston's IR list. The Texans now have seven active backs on their 85-man roster.

Aug 17, 2021 8:51 PM EST


Waived/injured by Texans

The Texans waived Hilliard (undisclosed) with an injury designation Monday, NFL reporter Aaron Wilson reports.

Analysis: Hilliard was held out of the Texans' preseason opener with an undisclosed injury. If he ends up going unclaimed on waivers he will revert to the Texans' injured reserve. From there, he will be sidelined for the rest of the season unless he and the team reach an injury settlement at some point.

Aug 16, 2021 6:39 PM EST


Held out of opener

Hilliard (undisclosed) will not play in the game against the Packers on Saturday, NFL reporter Aaron Wilson reports.

Analysis: The 26-year-old running back is mostly used as a returner when he does touch the field. As long as his injury doesn't cause him to miss extended time, Hilliard should have a good chance of claiming a roster spot.

Aug 14, 2021 5:27 PM EST


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