Derrick Morgan probably was tempted to kick the ground in disgust Tuesday. The problem was that it might have been painful if he had.
So the Tennessee Titans’ 2010 first-round draft pick stood still and watched during the team’s latest organized team activity (OTA), the first that included the veterans and rookies.
Morgan, the 16th overall selection in last month’s draft, did not participate because he “tweaked” a hamstring a day earlier during conditioning work.
“It’s really frustrating because it was the first time the rookies got to go out there with the vets,” Morgan said. “I’m not hurt too (often), so I don’t deal with it too well.”
Morgan played 39 out of 40 games during his three-year career at Georgia Tech. The only one he missed was against Duke in 2007. In the last two years he not only played, he started every game.
Predictably, he does not plan to miss much time due to his current ailment. His status is classified as day-to-day, and the team’s next OTA is Wednesday.
“It’s really up to me to try and get out there as soon as I can and to take care of things in the training room,” he said.
Coach Jeff Fisher said a similar thing happened with last year’s first-round pick, wide receiver Kenny Britt, at about the same time. Britt ended up having a productive rookie season – he led the team with 701 receiving yards and played all 16 games – but coaches and the training staff hoped to avoid a repeat.
“A significant injury right now could result in a huge setback, so we are just going to watch him,” Fisher said. “…Kenny Britt came in with something and it lingered last year throughout the OTAs.
“Based on our historical data, we are probably going to be overcautious here, but he is fine.”
Morgan, a defensive end, was the only one of this year’s rookies in attendance who was unable to take part in the workout.
Two others, fourth-round pick Alterraun Verner, a cornerback, and free agent running back LeGarrette Blount, were not with the team. Each was prohibited from participation by an NCAA rule related to the academic schedule of their respective schools.
“I was looking forward to getting out there and kind of being with the whole team,” Morgan said. “I just tried to stay off to the side and kind of look at what the signals were and watch my position. I didn’t miss a beat mentally.”