Injury shuffles, limits Titans offensive line competition

Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 4:41pm

Leroy Harris can breathe a little bit easier.

Barring something unexpected, the sixth-year veteran knows that he will be the Tennessee Titans starting right guard this season. That’s because his chief competition for that spot, third-year player Fernando Velasco, is now a candidate to play center.

Coach Mike Munchak confirmed Saturday, following a workout at LP Field, that center Eugene Amano will miss the season with a torn triceps in his right arm.

Shortly after the workout the team signed veteran Chris Morris to provide depth at center and guard. A five-year veteran, he spent the majority of his career with the Oakland Raiders in addition to a brief stint with the Carolina Panthers.

Velasco (6-foot-4, 313 pounds) will battle Kevin Matthews (6-foot-3, 302 pounds) for the remainder of camp. Each has limited NFL experience, including one start at center for the Titans.

Matthews has missed the last three days of work with concussion-like symptoms but is expected to return to practice Wednesday.

“We still feel like we have two good options,” Munchak said. “I know I’m comfortable with them, the quarterbacks are comfortable with them and that’s where it starts.”

Velasco and Harris split time with the first team at right guard through most of the first week of camp. Munchak said coaches originally planned to use him some at center during Week 2, but now he will ply there full-time, which effectively means Harris, the starter at left guard the last two seasons, is now unchallenged.

Amano, a starter for the past four seasons (the last two at center, was hurt during Thursday evening’s practice session. The injury will require surgery at some point in the coming week.

A seventh-round draft pick in 2004, he has played all three interior line positions nd appeared in 124 career games with 68 starts. He was the starting left guard in 2008 and 2009 before he moved to center full-time two years ago.

“No doubt, he’s depressed and disappointed,” Munchak said. “He’s a guy we drafted in the seventh round and he’s paid big-time dividends for this franchise.”

14 Comments on this post:

By: 4gold on 8/5/12 at 9:51

Thank God they got Amano off the line. Total failure last two years. Looks like Daddy Matthews is determined to get his son in the line up. Wouldnt sign a center all preseason and now brings in a 213 pound guy at center?

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville!

By: TITAN1 on 8/5/12 at 4:59

4gold, with your wisdom it is unbelievable that you don't own your own team or at least be a GM or head coach. I just don't know why the Titans don't call you for your opinion.

By: jwk6179 on 8/5/12 at 6:09

Velasco (6-foot-4, 213 pounds) will battle Kevin Matthews (6-foot-3, 302 pounds)

Surely, the weight listed for Fernando Velasco is a misprint. The majority of the players on the team, with the exception of Rob Baronious, Chris Johnson and a few others would weigh more than 214.

By: TITAN1 on 8/5/12 at 7:44

You are right, JW. He weighs in at 312. He may get the starting nod with Matthews backing him up from a report I heard somewhere..

By: Jughead on 8/6/12 at 11:20

Yawn. Get ready for another boring 8-8 year. The best part of a Titan fan's season is when it ends and they can have fresh delusions about the next season.

By: TITAN1 on 8/6/12 at 12:19

Jughead, why are you avoiding my question? What team do you follow or do you go with the flavor of the week? My home teams will always be good enough for me. I am very proud of where I live.

By: Jughead on 8/6/12 at 1:59

@Titan1: The world needs sheep, too...I guess. Now, just what was your question?

By: TITAN1 on 8/6/12 at 2:48

I guess you have a comprehension problem, so you might have to get someone to read it you. BTW, if you live here in Tennessee, you live in the Land of the Titans! You may as well get use to it or stay off message boards if it bothers you.

By: Jughead on 8/6/12 at 3:05

@Titantard: One suggestion: remedial English classes. Love puddles.

By: TITAN1 on 8/6/12 at 3:26

You must live in Clarksville.

By: Jughead on 8/6/12 at 3:54

@Titantard1: No, Albuquerque--with Walter White and Bugs Bunny. Next brilliant inference?

By: TITAN1 on 8/6/12 at 4:06

Yeah, right! Then you won't mind posting at the Tennessean website.

By: Jughead on 8/7/12 at 1:33

@Titanturd1: Can you post even one statement which is comprehensible?

By: TITAN1 on 8/8/12 at 1:45

Do you need someone to read you my last post?