Cornerback Cary Williams, the Tennessee Titans seventh-round pick out of Washburn, has been promoted to the active roster to fill the spot created when Kevin Vickerson was suspended last week.
“I think if he hadn’t gotten hurt in training camp, he would have been up all year,” Williams’ agent Harold Lewis said. “He’s looking forward to making the most of his opportunity.”
Williams can help on special teams, and provide depth in the secondary where the Titans have battled injuries at times.
Vickerson, who was suspended last week for four games for violating the NFL’s steroids and banned substances policy, is eligible to return to the roster when the playoffs begin.
Williams is the latest late-round project the Titans have taken at cornerback.
Starter Cortland Finnegan was the 215th pick of the 2006 draft and has five interceptions this season and could also receive strong Pro Bowl consideration.
Prior to that, seventh-round pick Reynaldo Hill from 2005 started for two seasons before finding a role on special teams. Hill was placed on injured reserve just before the New York Jets game with a hip pointer three weeks ago.
The Titans had also considered bringing defensive tackle Amon Gordon up from the practice squad to the active roster on Tuesday, but elected to go with Williams, apparently because other teams potentially showed interest.
According to a league source, there was interest in Gordon from another NFL team as well, but he elected to stay in Tennessee to see if the possibility of a spot on the 53-man roster exists down the line.
OTHER MOVE: The Titans also signed defensive tackle Derrick Jones of Grand Valley State to the practice squad to replace Williams.
Other defensive linemen in for tryouts Tuesday included Steve Harris of Florrida, Alex Morrow of Southern Cal, Jordan Reffett of Washington and Lorenzo Williams of Missouri.
IMPROVING TEXANS: The Titans have dominated the team that took their place in the city of Houston since the Texans entered the league in 2002. Only a pair of losses to the Texans in 2004 has kept Tennessee from owning a clean sweep in the series.
However, of late, the Texans are playing better, and at 6-7 and owners of three wins a in row, Houston still has an outside shot of posting the first winning season in franchise history if it can win out.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher said the AFC South rivals cannot be taken lightly, even though Tennessee pasted Houston 31-12 in their first meeting back on Sept. 21.
“We knew at that time that it was only going to be a matter of time before they start winning ballgames,” Fisher said. “They’ve won six out of their last nine against some good opponents. They’re very well-coached and [Steve] Slaton is everything we thought he was going to be and with [quarterback Matt] Schaub back now and the way the defense is playing, I know they only wish they had a better start so that they could be in the race, but they’re building for next year, of course.”
Slaton, a rookie third-round pick from West Virginia, has 1,024 yards rushing this season and had 116 yards rushing against Tennessee in the first meeting, thanks in large part to a 50-yard run.