|Titans LB Colin McCarthy (left) practiced Wednesday and is expected to return Sunday vs. the Colts after missing last week's win over the Bills. (AP)|
For a Tennessee Titans’ defense that nearly allowed seven yards a carry in last week’s win over the Buffalo Bills, the return of starting middle linebacker to Wednesday’s practice should be a welcome relief.
The Titans used three players at middle linebacker against the Bills after Zac Diles (broken leg) and Will Witherspoon (hamstring) were sidelined with injuries. Diles was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday.
McCarthy missed the game with a sprained right ankle. The second-year linebacker initially suffered the injury in Week 1 vs. the Patriots. With McCarthy out for the remainder of September, the Titans allowed 128.0 rushing yards per game during a three-game stretch to close out the month. The former University of Miami linebacker made eight tackles each in a Week 5 loss to the Vikings and a Week 6 win over the Steelers.
“It’s not going to heal overnight,” McCarthy said. “It’s obviously not anywhere near 100 percent.”
With Diles on IR, the Titans signed veteran LB Xavier Adibi on Wednesday. In 2008-10, Adibi played under linebackers coach Frank Bush for three seasons in Houston. Adibi appeared in four games with the Vikings last season and spent time with the Bears this summer in training camp.
Pro Bowl LT Michael Roos missed practice on Wednesday, two days after undergoing an appendectomy at a local Nashville hospital. If Roos misses Sunday’s game vs. the Colts, veteran OT Mike Otto is slated to start. Otto relieved starting RT David Stewart in last season’s loss at Atlanta. Otto, a native of Kokomo, Ind. and a second-team All-Big Ten tackle at Purdue, is familiar with Colts DE Dwight Freeney’s pass rush techniques.
“I watched him play even before I got here, growing up in Indiana,” Otto said. “He’s a very good football player.”
Besides Roos, LB Patrick Bailey (hand/ribs), CB Tommie Campbell (ankle), RB Javon Ringer (knee) and Witherspoon did not practice on Wednesday. Jake Locker took part in 7-on-7 drills but was limited by a left shoulder injury. RB Chris Johnson (ankle), S Jordan Babineaux (wrist) and TE Craig Stevens (concussion) were full participants.
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