Derrick Morgan will start the 2011 season the way he ended the previous one — sidelined by a knee injury.
Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak said Tuesday that the second-year defensive end underwent minor knee surgery a day earlier when he visited renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. It was the same knee on which he had reconstructive surgery last October.
The rehab period for the latest procedure typically is two-four weeks. Thus, Morgan already has been ruled out of the regular season opener.
“I think that’s common when you have ACLs that you go back for some clean-up duties,” Munchak said. “Maybe the good thing there is that there was something actually going on in there that hopefully will help him with his confidence. It’s something that he can be back in a couple weeks from.”
The situation creates further problems at a position currently beset by injuries. In addition to Morgan, Jason Jones (knee) and Jacob Ford (hamstring) also are out.
Morgan, the 2010 first-round draft pick (16th overall), is the only one of the three who has been ruled out for the Sept. 11 contest at Jacksonville. The hope is that he will be ready for the Sept. 18 game against Baltimore or the Sept. 25 contest against Denver, both at LP Field.
Jones and Ford will miss Thursday’s preseason finale (7 p.m. at New Orleans) but are expected to be ready for Jacksonville.
Morgan missed last season’s final 12 games after he sustained the injury. He played in this year’s first two preseason contests but experienced some discomfort in the knee during the Aug. 20 game at St. Louis.
Coaches held him out of workouts last week and he did not dress for last Saturday’s victory over the Chicago Bears.
“It’s a small setback for him, I think it was hard [for him] in the Rams game when he felt it,” Munchak said. “We have been talking about that, thinking that maybe he can get over it and avoid the surgery but he needed a scope and they did it [Monday].
“He will be back this weekend and now hopefully it’s behind us and we have him for early in the season.”
Morgan had four tackles and one sack in his limited preseason action. In four regular-season appearances as a rookie, he recorded 10 tackles and one and a half sacks.