Chris Johnson was placed on the reserve/did not report list Monday as the Tennessee Titans reduced their roster to 80 players one day in advance of the deadline to do so.
Johnson, who has not reported to the team since the start of training camp, no longer is on the active roster. The record-setting running back wants a new contract despite the fact that he has two years remaining on his current deal.
The distinction is mostly procedural and includes no limitations on his return to the active roster if — or when — he elects to join the team.
“We were trying to maintain as many spots as we could,” coach Mike Munchak said. “So in case there are injuries to second-team guys [at New Orleans], we have other guys to put in. That allowed us to maintain another player.”
The Titans and Saints conclude their preseason 7 p.m. Thursday (WKRN-TV Ch. 2).
Nine other players were waived. Teams had until Tuesday afternoon to get down to 80 players on the active roster.
• Other roster moves: One notable veteran, defensive tackle Jovan Haye, was among those released.
The Vanderbilt product spent the last two seasons with the Titans and made 107 tackles in 29 appearances.
The new coaching staff wanted to add size to the defensive line. Consequently, Haye added weight during the offseason but ultimately lost out because of the free agent addition of Shaun Smith and the play of three draft picks — Karl Klug, Jurrell Casey and Zach Clayton.
“We came to the decision that the [young] guys we have now was probably the best way to go,” Munchak said. “There was no reason to hold off on telling Jovan — I think it was good for him to know as soon as we knew so he can move on. I think he appreciated that.”
Safety Nick Schommer, a seventh-round draft pick in 2009, also was waived. He spent all of 2009 on the practice squad and then appeared in 13 games, primarily on special teams, last season.
Also released were linebacker Jonathan Cornell, punter Chad Cunningham, fullback Patrick Hill, linebacker Kevin Malast, quarterback Brett Ratliff, wide receiver Owen Spencer and long snapper John Stokes, another former Vanderbilt player.
• Familiar face: Veteran wide receiver Kevin Curtis, signed on Friday, previously played with one member of the Titans — a member of the coaching staff, that is.
Wide receivers coach Dave Ragone, a college quarterback, entered the league the same year as Curtis, now 33 and looking to earn a spot with his fourth NFL team.
“Right before I made the trip my agent told me who the receivers coach was — I remember Dave from the Senior Bowl,” Curtis said. “I didn’t realize he was out here, but — yeah — a familiar face.”
Curtis is expected to see significant playing time against the Saints as the Titans try to evaluate him as quickly as possible.
“It’s a small window for him, but I’m sure it’s one he’s happy he has,” Munchak said.
• Injury news: Defensive end Derrick Morgan, the 2010 first-round draft pick, made a follow-up visit to renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews and missed the day’s workout. The trip was to determine the status of Morgan’s right knee, on which he had reconstructive surgery last October.
Morgan was ruled out for the game at New Orleans, and his status for the regular-season opener Sept. 11 at Jacksonville is undetermined. But Munchak said he was not optimistic for the latter.
Also ruled out for the Saints game were running back Javon Ringer (hip), defensive end Jacob Ford (hamstring), defensive end Jason Jones (knee), wide receiver/returner Marc Mariani (ankle), cornerback Pete Ittersagen (hamstring) and tackle Troy Kropog (knee).