The Tennessee Titans are moving into uncharted waters with Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.
For the first time since they drafted him in the second round in 2005, left tackle Michael Roos will not play for the Titans. Roos has been declared out after having an appendectomy on Monday and it snaps a 119-consecutive games streak that tied him for fifth among current NFL players. Ironically, the player he was tied with, Bart Scott of the New York Jets, might also be out with an injury this week, according to reports from New York.
“We're not going to play him. We're not going to take any risks or chances with that,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “He's feeling pretty good, but he probably needs a good week to rest and he'll be fine next week.”
Roos said earlier in the week that the streak is a nice personal milestone that he takes pride in.
“It's a source of pride. I always want to be out there for my team and be out there on Sundays,” Roos said.
Munchak said he expects Roos back next week against the Chicago Bears.
The responsibilities at left tackle – and trying to slow down Colts pass rushing star Dwight Freeney - for this week now fall to Mike Otto. The veteran backup was brought back with a two-year, $3.2 million contract extension in the offseason, but Otto has not played at all this season due to knee problems. He says he is ready for his chance.
“It's an opportunity to go out and play against a good team. I'm looking forward to doing my part to help us do what we need to do to win,” Otto said.
In terms of helping Otto to contain Freeney, the Titans will slide some help his way some with tight ends or a fullback. But Munchak said that would happen to some extent even if Roos was healthy and available.
“They’re the kind of guys that can make big plays and change games,” Munchak said of Freeney and Robert Mathis. “So you’re always going to be aware of them and be smart with what you do. You’re not going to help anyone all the time, but there will be times where maybe stuff that will take longer to develop, you’ll be smart. He’ll be fine. He’s crafty and has been around the league for a while, so he knows what needs to be done. It’ll be a challenge, no doubt, for all of them, not just him. He’s the new guy, but they’re all going to be under siege. It’ll be a good challenge for the whole group.”
In addition to Roos, four other Titans will be without quarterback Jake Locker (shoulder), cornerback Tommie Campbell (knee), and linebacker Patrick Bailey (ribs). Tennessee also placed running back Javon Ringer, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, on injured reserve Friday and elevated safety Tracy Wilson from the practice squad for special teams help.
There is some good news for the Titans on the injury front, however,
Linebacker Colin McCarthy practiced on Friday after getting Thursday off to rest his troublesome ankle. He will be listed as questionable, but Munchak indicated that he should be able to play Sunday. Linebacker Will Witherspoon practiced Friday and his questionable as well with a hamstring injury.
Other Titans players are listed as probable for Sunday and practiced all week. Those include running back Chris Johnson (ankle), receiver Kenny Britt (knee), tight end Craig Stevens (concussion) and safety Jordan Babineaux (wrist).