Tennessee Titans safety Chris Hope’s season is over because of a spinal cord injury.
Hope suffered the injury in the first quarter of the Titans’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 25 and has not played since.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher said that while Hope is out for the season, the injury is not a career-ending one.
After undergoing tests and evaluations by team doctors, Hope was shut down in hopes that rest will allow him to recover from the high back injury. However, there is still the chance that surgery might be necessary.
“After numerous studies and opinions, Chris Hope’s season is over,” Fisher said. “The doctors are not going to allow and don’t feel it’s safe for him to finish the season. This is not a career-ending injury by any means. We’re going to continue to evaluate it. He may heal up as a result of rest, and we have not ruled out surgery as a possibility.”
Hope, a free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006, has emerged as one of the leaders of Tennessee’s defense. He had five interceptions a year ago. Hope had two interceptions this season and 60 total tackles.
Hope could be seen twitching after he collided with teammate Sean Conover as the two were attempting to make a tackle of Bengals running back Rudi Johnson.
Calvin Lowry, who started last week against Houston, takes over the strong safety role for the rest of the season. Lowry started six games at free safety before being replaced by rookie first-round pick Michael Griffin.
“It’s a sad situation, but I’m able now to get back on the field and continue playing. I’m going to continue praying for him and hopefully he can come back from it,” Lowry said.
Also, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth missed his third consecutive practice on Friday, and was working inside for conditioning. He will be a game-time decision, after playing last week for the first time since Nov. 4 against Carolina.
“We have not ruled him out. Albert will be a game-time decision after we work him out prior to the game,” Fisher said. “We anticipated a setback and anticipated some soreness and some mild swelling, and that’s what he has. We’re helping him to work through it right now. He’s been conditioning inside.”
Wide receiver Brandon Jones was sent out for another opinion on his groin injury, and will not play Sunday.
Defensive tackle Tony Brown (knee) and guard Benji Olson (back) both practiced.