They were willing to do almost anything to get the ball in Kenny Britt’s hands on Sunday.
Now the Tennessee Titans might have to do without this season’s most explosive offensive player — possibly for the rest of the season.
Britt was injured late in the second quarter of Sunday’s 17-14 victory over the Denver Broncos when he took a hit to the outside of his right knee. He fumbled the ball, went to the ground in obvious pain and made it off the field only with the assistance of some of the team’s medical personnel. He then was taken to the locker room on the back of a cart.
Extensive tests were scheduled for late Sunday or Monday to determine whether or not he sustained any torn ligaments.
“Obviously, it didn’t look good when he got hurt,” coach Mike Munchak said. “We will have to wait until [Monday] to see the extent of that.
“I don’t know what it is. He twisted it pretty good.”
Britt was injured when he ran a short crossing route from left to right and attempted to turn upfield. In addition to the ball (recovered by Denver), he lost two yards on the play.
He finished with three receptions for 18 yards — numbers well off those of the previous two weeks when he averaged seven receptions for 135.5 yards and accounted for the Titans’ only three passing touchdowns.
“I think he had like maybe two or three catches, but they weren’t his typical routes,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “We were trying really hard to get him the ball because he’s such a playmaker.
“They rolled their coverage to Kenny Britt, tried to take him out of the game, did a really nice job. We tried to move him around a little bit, anticipating that they were going to do that.”
Including Britt, 11 different players caught at least one pass against the Broncos — five wide receivers, three tight ends and three running backs.
Wide receiver Nate Washington had a game-high eight catches for 92 yards. He assumed the team lead with 21 receptions for the season but still trails Britt in yards and touchdowns.
“I’m very concerned,” Washington said. “He’s definitely a vital part of our offense and he’s been doing an awesome job for us all year. … We have to put some things together that are going to try to make up for the things that he was able to do for us.
“But I think we are going to be all right. Hopefully, he will be able to sit down and kick his feet up and we’ll be able to hold on until he gets healthy.”
The Titans won five of their first seven games last season, capped by a victory over Philadelphia in which he caught seven passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns. He sustained a hamstring injury early in the next contest that caused him to miss the rest of that game as well as the next four. Tennessee lost all five.
“[When] a guy that you are teammates with [and] that you’re counting on, goes down, … there’s nothing you can do about it to help him,” Hasselbeck said. “So you’ve got to really … the best thing you can do is get that out of your mind and just be focused on what your job is, and your job is to play.
“Sometimes that can deflate the team a little bit when you see a guy, but he wasn’t able to return. So we were fortunate to come out with a win.”