Titans shuffle running back depth with decision to add one, waive another

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 5:30pm

It was not Jalen Pamele’s best game. But it was close.

It still was better than any Jamie Harper had the last two seasons. That and the fact that it happened against the Tennessee Titans might have been a factor in their decision Wednesday to execute a swap of backup running backs.

Tennessee signed Parmele, a four-year veteran who also has been a productive special teams performer, and released Harper, a fourth-round draft pick in 2011.

Last fall with Jacksonville, Parmele got his first chance to carry the ball regularly when Maurice Jones-Drew was out with an injury. He rushed for 143 yards on 40 carries for the year.

His last appearance was against the Titans in Week 12 and he ran eight times for 45 yards before he sustained a season-ending groin injury. The previous week he gained 80 yards on 24 carries in a loss at Houston.

Harper never rushed for more than 19 yards in a game and averaged just 2.1 yards for Tennessee.

The two are of comparable size. Parmele, originally a sixth-round selection by Miami in 2008, is 5-foot-11, 225 pounds. Harper is 5-11, 235.

The latter, however, carried the ball just 36 times for 74 yards in 23 career appearances. He also caught five passes for 40 yards.

Parmele also offers greater value because of his potential as a special teams contributor. He was Baltimore’s primary kickoff return man in 2010 and averaged 23.4 yards on 25 attempts. For his career, he has returned 43 kicks for an average of 25.1 yards and has recorded 28 special teams tackles.

He spent time on Miami’s practice squad in 2008 before he was signed to Baltimore’s active roster that season. He remained with the Ravens through 2011.