The Tennessee Titans are already thin at the outside linebacker position, and lost rookie second-round pick Harold Landry to an ankle injury in the first quarter of Saturday’s preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Landry was injured while covering a kick. From viewing video footage of the play, it appeared that Landry rolled his right ankle on the play. That is the same ankle that Landry injured his senior year at Boston College, which limited his time on the field and may have caused his draft status to fall as well.
Landry was spotted by media members in a walking boot on Sunday. Landry was not seen in the open part of Monday’s practice. A league source indicated that it is not yet known if the injury could affect Landry’s status for the season opener Sept. 9 in Miami.
Treatment and time should be Landry’s best allies, as he has 13 days to get ready for the season opener. The Titans are already likely to be without Derrick Morgan, who has been out since the Tampa Bay preseason game with a knee injury, and had surgery, according to a report by writer Paul Kuharsky last week. Brian Orakpo returned to the practice field on Monday for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury on the second day of camp.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel downplayed Landry’s situation after practice Monday.
“I know Landry went down the other day, but it’s not going to be the end of the world,” Vrabel said. “It’s not like we lost Lawrence Taylor for the second half of the Steeler game. We’ll move on to the next guy. When Harold feels better, we’ll get him back out there. But let’s not think this is the end of the world with Harold missing the second half of the Steeler game.”
Despite the injury, Vrabel said he does not regret putting Landry on special teams.
“We’re never going to second guess where we put guys. We feel like we put them where they can best help the team, and he’s going to need to help the team on special teams and be a productive member of that unit,” Vrabel said. You can see that our kickoff return wasn’t as good as it had been the first two weeks, and so that’s a testament, one, to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ kickoff coverage. They’ve got some guys there that we’ve got to block, we had to block, and so that was a good lesson for us to say that every week, we’ve got to be ready for the challenge.
“Hopefully, we can do that this week here in Minnesota with whoever’s out there, whether that be Harold or KB (Kevin Byard) or any of those guys like Logan Ryan that we are going to eventually use on special teams.”
Speaking of Ryan, he was not on the field either on Monday during the open period.
Also missing were receiver Nick Williams, who injured his hamstring covering a punt, safety Kendrick Lewis (foot), linebacker Sharif Finch and Morgan.