Titans sign ex-Vol Veal to fill out tackle spot

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at 12:38am

The Tennessee Titans signed defensive tackle Demetrin Veal on Tuesday to fill the vacant roster spot caused when Quinton Ganther was waived on Monday.

The Titans could be short-handed at defensive tackle this week because of Albert Haynesworth’s strained hamstring, suffered at the end of Sunday’s 20-7 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

Haynesworth is expected to miss practice time this week and his status for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville at LP Field is currently not known.

Veal, who played at the University of Tennessee, has spent time with the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons in his NFL career.

He played in all 16 games for the Broncos last season and 15 games the year before, totaling 57 tackles and two-and-a-half sacks.

He originally worked out for the Titans last Tuesday when the team was searching for a defensive tackle to replace Corey Simon, who abruptly retired. At the time, the Titans opted to use Simon’s roster spot on Ganther as insurance at running back and for help on special teams. However, Ganther was inactive on Sunday. Ganther is expected to be re-signed to Tennessee’s practice squad.

The defensive line also has a question mark in defensive end Travis LaBoy, who suffered a concussion in the game against the Panthers.

WORKING OUT: The Tennessee Titans worked out wide receiver Mike Williams on Tuesday, but did not sign the former Southern California star on Wednesday, though he could still be on their radar.

Williams, the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft, was waived last week by the Oakland Raiders after he dropped a fourth-down pass against the Titans two games ago at LP Field on what could have been a game-winning drive.

The Titans have had interest in Williams ever since he became draft eligible, thanks in large part to Williams’ relationship with Tennessee offensive coordinator Norm Chow when the two were together at USC.

Williams was one of four players the Titans were considering taking when they had the sixth pick in the 2005 NFL Draft before settling on Adam “Pacman” Jones, who is now serving a season-long suspension.

Williams, who had sat out 2004 after unsuccessfully challenging the NFL for entry into the draft after his sophomore season at Southern Cal, was selected by the Detroit Lions, but had a disappointing two seasons there, catching just 37 passes in his time there. Williams had 29 receptions as a rookie.

The Titans again pursued Williams via trade in the offseason, but the Lions instead dealt Williams and quarterback Josh McCown to the Raiders for a fourth-round pick in the April draft. Tennessee had offered a sixth-round pick for Williams.

The 6-5, 230-pound Williams had seven catches for the Raiders this season before being let go.

HENRY DECISION: Rookie running back Chris Henry, facing a four-game suspension for taking a banned substance through a prescription, is still planning to appeal the suspension. He was notified of the violation on Saturday and has until Thursday to decide on the appeal. There is the chance the Titans would ask him not to appeal, which would assure his availability for the season’s final four regular-season games and any postseason games the team might qualify for. Chris Brown should return this week from a high ankle sprain.

Once Henry serves the suspension, the Titans will get to fill his roster spot.

OTHER TRYOUTS: The Titans hosted six other players besides Williams on Wednesday, including wide receivers Carlos Francis, Doug Gabriel, Billy McMullen and Clifford Russell and quarterbacks Jason Fife and Sam Hollenbach.

Gabriel has previously played for the Raiders and Patriots, and the Titans actually put in a waiver claim on him last year, but were undercut by Oakland.

AMANO DEAL: Backup guard Eugene Amano has agreed to a two-year extension that will keep him in Tennessee through 2009.

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