Kenny Britt probably does not have a leg to stand on with the National Football League. That’s why it’s unlikely that he will be on the field when the Tennessee Titans open the 2012 season.
In a way, therefore, it works out well that he does not have a knee he can run on. For that reason the fourth-year wide receiver will not participate Saturday when the Titans take the field for their first practice of 2012 training camp.
If they won’t have him when the games start they might as well practice without him too.
“It is disappointing anytime one of your guys gets in trouble and gets jammed up,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “Eventually you run out of opportunities and you run out of chances.
“… I said all last year I think he’s the most talented player on our team. He’s the most talented wide receiver that I’ve ever played with. But that doesn’t mean he’s the best receiver I’ve ever played with or he’s the best player on our team. It means he could be.”
A pair of minor knee surgeries — one on each knee — during the offseason led to his inability to pass the team’s physical earlier this week. Consequently, he was placed on the physically unable to perform list.
He will not take part in any training camp workouts until he is healthy enough to pass the physical and is removed from the PUP list.
“Now that he’s here and we’re all here … this gives us a chance to see him seven days a week and let us give him treatment, and we can find out as we go how his knees respond to treatment,” coach Mike Munchak said.
More troublesome to anyone associated with the organization was his arrest last week at Fort Campbell. He was charged with drunk driving after being stopped in the early morning hours on July 20.
He avoided league discipline last season despite the fact that we was arrested three times — twice in New Jersey and once in Tennessee — during the spring and summer. That those incidents occurred while NFL owners had players locked out in a labor dispute worked in Britt’s favor. He did have a face-to-face meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell last August.
This time he almost certainly faces a multi-game suspension at the start of the season.
“We’ve talked with Kenny,” Munchak said. “He’s aware that we’re very disappointed in his involvement in this recent situation. The league has a policy in place that addresses player conduct. … So now it’s still gathering facts of exactly what did happen, what all the information is and then with the league we’ll decide where we go from there.
“… For us to do a knee-jerk reaction — in any case, not just Kenny — would be wrong by us or by me. … At some point the right thing will be done by the league and by us if it needs to be done.”
Neither the injuries nor the off-field issues are anything new to Britt.
He missed four games in 2010 due to a hamstring injury and sat out the final 13 contests last fall with a knee injury. All told, there also have been eight incidents involving the police.
Even so, the 2009 first-round draft pick (30th overall) out of Rutgers has averaged 17.5 yards on 101 career receptions.
“I think a lot of people are disappointed, but it’s hard to form judgments when you don’t know all the details,” cornerback Jason McCourty, also a college teammate of Britt’s said. “I think, for myself, I know I continue to see a change from when I’ve been with him at Rutgers for three years prior to coming to the Titans. I know the person he is and the person he can be.
“I’m still excited to see where his career is going to go and where he’s going to go as a person.”
The expectation for much of this offseason was that Britt would be the Titans’ top offensive threat in 2012. Training camp was going to be an opportunity for the second-year coaching staff to figure the best way to take advantage of his combination of size, speed and athleticism.
Instead, they get to practice not having him on the field.
“It’s been my experience, just with the guys I’ve played with, that some guys figure it out in time and some guys figure it out when it’s too late,” Hasselbeck said. “We’ll hope for the best for him and that he’s able to put all this stuff behind him.”