The Titans signed McNichols to their practice squad Tuesday, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.
Analysis: The 26-year-old was waived by Tennessee on Saturday but will join the team's practice squad ahead of the playoffs after Jordan Wilkins (undisclosed) was placed on the practice squad injured list Tuesday. McNichols appeared in 14 games during the regular season and rushed 41 times for 156 yards while securing 28 of 38 targets for 240 yards and a touchdown.
Jan 11, 2022 2:41 PM EST
McNichols was waived by the Titans on Saturday.
Analysis: The Titans opted to elevate Jordan Wilkins from the practice squad signaling the end of McNichols' tenure with the franchise. The fifth-year running back had a relatively critical role earlier in the season after Derrick Henry's season-ending foot injury which ultimately allowed the scatback to set career highs in both receptions and receiving yards. The emergence of Dontrell Hilliard relegated McNichols to an offensive afterthought recently as the 26-year-old tallied just nine carries and zero receptions over the last two weeks.
Jan 8, 2022 10:57 AM EST
McNichols rushed the ball twice for 14 yards in Sunday's 34-3 win over the Dolphins.
Analysis: McNichols was the third back in Tennessee's rotation as he took the field for only six offensive snaps. His playing time could tick up in different game script given that his primary role for the team comes from work as a receiver out of the backfield. However, that may not come in Week 18 as the Titans should be favored in a matchup at Houston.
Jan 3, 2022 7:47 AM EST
McNichols recorded seven rushes for 31 yards in Thursday's 20-17 win over San Francisco.
Analysis: McNichols finished second on the team with seven rushing attempts, with only D'Onta Foreman earning more opportunity. He was fairly efficient his work, posting four gains of five or more yards on the ground. Contrary to his encouraging work as a rusher, McNichols' role as a pass catcher out of the backfield evaporated nearly entirely -- he was targeted only once and did not record a reception. Given the return of A.J. Brown (chest), McNichols' volume in the passing attack may not return in the team's final two games this season. That makes McNichols a difficult option to rely upon given his lack of bankable volume in Tennessee's split backfield.
Dec 23, 2021 9:57 PM EST
McNichols rushed the ball six time for 26 yards in Sunday's 19-13 loss to the Steelers. He added three receptions for 25 yards.
Analysis: McNichols served as the Titans' third back, as he worked behind both D'Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard. Even so, Tennessee's rushing heavy attack and lack of healthy wide receivers played to McNichols' advantage. His longest gain of the day came on a 12-yard reception, though he also chipped in a gain of nine on the ground. In two games since returning from a pair of absences, McNichols has combined to record 14 rush attempts and three receptions. His involvement in the offense gives him a safe floor, albeit a very low ceiling as the third back on the depth chart.
Dec 19, 2021 4:21 PM EST
McNichols recorded eight rushes for 16 yards in Sunday's 20-0 win over the Jaguars.
Analysis: McNichols returned from a two-game absence and finished second on the team with eight rushes. The majority of that work came in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand, and he didn't do much to convince Tennessee that he should be working ahead of D'Onta Foreman or Dontrell Hilliard. While he managed a 12-yard gain, McNichols was otherwise primarily stuffed behind or at the line of scrimmage to turn in a disappointing performance in his return.
Dec 12, 2021 9:25 PM EST
McNichols (concussion) practiced fully Wednesday, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.
Analysis: McNichols, who missed the Titans' last two games is thus poised to be available for Sunday's contest against the Jaguars. That said, McNichols' role upon his looming return to the lineup is somewhat unclear, with D'Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard both having performed capably in Tennessee's last outing, a 36-13 loss to the Patriots in Week 12.
Dec 8, 2021 2:22 PM EST
McNichols (concussion) is out for Sunday's game in New England, Turron Davenport of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: McNichols still hasn't returned to practice and now will miss a second straight game. Last week, Dontrell Hilliard stepped in as the passing-down back and caught eight of 10 targets for 47 yards in a 22-13 loss to the Texans, adding seven rushes for 35 yards while playing 63 percent of snaps on offense. That's a bigger workload than McNichols has seen all year, and while a repeat isn't likely, Hilliard does have less competition for playing time with both McNichols and Adrian Peterson (released) out of the lineup. It appears the injury-ravaged Tennessee offense will have D'Onta Foreman as the lead runner and Hilliard as the substitute and passing-down back this Sunday against a red-hot Patriots defense, though the Titans also have RB Rodney Smith as a backfield option from the practice squad.
Nov 26, 2021 12:16 PM EST
McNichols (concussion) didn't practice Wednesday.
Analysis: With McNichols absent from Sunday's 22-13 loss to Houston, the Titans deployed Dontrell Hilliard as their passing-down back -- a role that came with 63 percent snap share and 10 targets, a workload range McNichols has flirted with just once this season (40% and 12 targets in Week 4 at the Jets). In any case, one or the other will handle the role this Sunday in New England, where yardage and touchdowns may be in short supply even if the target volume checks out. The Titans also have major issues at wide receiver, where A.J. Brown (chest) and Marcus Johnson (IR/hamstring) have now (re)joined the lengthy list of injured players.
Nov 24, 2021 1:29 PM EST
McNichols (concussion) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Texans, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.
Analysis: After sustaining the head injury in last week's win over the Saints, McNichols didn't practice Wednesday through Friday and wasn't on course to clear the NFL's five-step concussion protocol by Sunday. McNichols' absence leaves D'Onta Foreman and Adrian Peterson as the Titans' healthy backs, but because neither player is an accomplished pass catcher, the team could look to add another option at the position to the roster prior to Sunday's game.
Nov 19, 2021 11:09 AM EST
McNichols (concussion) wasn't spotted at Thursday's practice, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.
Analysis: McNichols has now missed consecutive practices, putting his status for Sunday's game against the Texans in doubt. D'Onta Foreman and Adrian Peterson are in line to split snaps in Tennessee's backfield against Houston, though it's not clear which running back would absorb the passing-down duties normally occupied by McNichols should he sit Sunday.
Nov 18, 2021 12:26 PM EST
McNichols (concussion) didn't practice Wednesday, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.
Analysis: It remains to be seen if McNichols gains clearance to play in Sunday's game against the Texans, but if he does, he'd profile as a hit-or-miss PPR option in Week 11 fantasy lineups, with Adrian Peterson and D'Onta Foreman both in line for their share of backfield touches, notably on early-downs.
Nov 17, 2021 2:20 PM EST
McNichols gained seven yards on four carries in Sunday's 23-21 win over the Saints. He added one reception on three targets for one yard.
Analysis: McNichols worked behind both Adrian Peterson and D'Onta Foreman and did little with the opportunity he did receive. His longest rush of the day went for only four yards, and he was also not a factor as a receiver. Though it was originally expected that McNichols would be a key figure in the Titans' backfield in the absence of Derrick Henry (foot), his role appears to have slipped significantly in the last two games.
Nov 14, 2021 10:01 PM EST
McNichols recorded seven carries for 24 yards in Sunday's 28-16 win over the Rams. He added three receptions for 11 yards.
Analysis: McNichols finished second on the team in carries, with Adrian Peterson commanding 10 rushing attempts and D'Onta Foreman five. McNichols ripped off a 14-yard gain but was otherwise largely held on check on the ground. Similarly, he had one reception that went for nine yards, but was otherwise limited as a receiver. Though he did see an increased role on the ground as projected in the absence of Derrick Henry (foot), the Titans' backfield appears to have devolved into a three-way timeshare for touches.
Nov 8, 2021 1:06 PM EST
With Derrick Henry slated to undergo foot surgery, McNichols is in line for added work in the coming weeks, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.
Analysis: While the Titans didn't offer a timetable for Henry's potential return to action, he'll presumably miss extended time. At this stage, the team has McNichols and Dontrell Hilliard on hand and backfield reinforcements figure to arrive soon, potentially via a trade in advance of Tuesday's deadline. With that in mind, McNichols' exact role and volume in Henry's absence is to be determined, but in the short-term as least, he's in line for added touches.
Nov 1, 2021 10:21 AM EST
McNichols could be in line for a bigger role due to Derrick Henry's foot injury, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: The Titans are waiting for official word on the extent of the damage to Henry's foot. Regardless of whether he is ruled out for the rest of the season, it appears that Henry could be in line for a lengthy absence. McNichols has served as the Titans' second back for the entire season, though he has only seven rushing attempts across eight games. It's also possible that the team searches for help outside the organization, particularly given that Darrynton Evans (knee) has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign.
Nov 1, 2021 7:49 AM EST
McNichols recorded three receptions on three targets for 33 yards in Sunday's 34-31 win over the Colts.
Analysis: McNichols had his role as the Titans' second back solidified after Darrynton Evans (knee) was shut down for the season. He did not log a carry but did record multiple receptions for the fifth time in eight games on the campaign. Though Derrick Henry will handle the vast majority of the work out of the Titans' backfield, McNichols is the clear backup if Henry were to be forced to miss any time.
Oct 31, 2021 7:19 PM EST
McNichols will retake his previous role as Derrick Henry's backup, as Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports that Darrynton Evans (knee) has been placed on IR and will miss the remainder of the season.
Analysis: McNichols and Evans split the leftovers behind Henry in Evans' lone appearance of the season last week, and McNichols was limited to just one touch in that game. With Evans out of the picture again, McNichols should see a workload closer to the 4.8 touches per game he averaged in the first five before getting injured early in Week 6. McNichols' fantasy relevance will likely remain limited to deeper leagues as long as Henry's healthy.
Oct 29, 2021 1:30 PM EST
McNichols recorded one reception on one target for 10 yards in Sunday's 27-3 win over Kansas City.
Analysis: McNichols has worked primarily as a pass catcher out of the backfield, so the game script didn't fit into his typical role. He also lost some work to Darrynton Evans (knee), who returned from injured reserve to make his first appearance of the season. Through six weeks, it was clear that McNichols was the primary backup to Derrick Henry, though his role on the team is now less clear.
Oct 25, 2021 8:14 AM EST
McNichols (ankle) is listed as active for Sunday's game against Kansas City, Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official site reports.
Analysis: Through six games, McNichols has logged just seven carries, though the 25-year-old has factored into the Titans' passing attack at times. However, with Darrynton Evans (knee) having been activated off IR, it remains to be seen how many touches there will be for McNichols in Week 7, with Derrick Henry slated to continue to handle the bulk of the team's backfield work as long as he remains healthy and available.
Oct 24, 2021 9:00 AM EST
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