The Tennessee Titans lost defensive end Jacob Ford for the season with a torn Achilles tendon and have claimed former University of Tennessee defensive end Jason Hall off waivers from the Carolina Panthers.
Ford, a sixth-round pick last April, is expected to undergo surgery today to repair the injury.
“That’s what we suspected, and we confirmed it, but he’s got a long rehab ahead of him. He’s the kind of kid I’m sure that’ll get through it. We have a pretty good idea of the potential he has,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said of Ford.
Ford is the second Titans rookie defensive lineman to be lost with a season-ending injury in training camp. Antonio Johnson, the Titans’ fifth-round pick, had knee surgery that ended his season early in camp.
Hall, who will occupy the NFL Europa exemption held by Cody Douglas who was released last week, was that league’s Defensive Player of the Year, recording 12 sacks with the Cologne Centurions. Hall (6-2, 253) is expected to be in Nashville today to give the Titans some needed depth at defensive end.
“He was released by the Carolina Panthers. He seems to be in good shape and we think he can come and help us,” Fisher said.
The Titans also lost defensive end Nathaniel Adibi, who was waived/injured on Monday because of a hip injury.
Hall follows a similar path to the Titans as starting defensive tackle Tony Brown, a former Carolina Panther and NFL Europe Defensive Player of the Year.
Hall and Brown are also both from Chattanooga. Hall played at McCallie.
Defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona played alongside Hall for two seasons with the Volunteers.
“He’s a hard worker and he comes hard every play. I played right next to him in college for two years, and he’s the kind of player that fights for the group as a whole rather than making plays for himself,” Mahelona said.
MAD ABOUT MADDEN: Vince Young called the release of him being on the cover of Madden ’08 “a dream come true,” considering he played the game many times as a kid back in Houston.
The newest version of the game, featuring the Titans quarterback on the cover, was released on Tuesday. Young reiterated his non-belief in the so-called Madden cover jinx that has caused past cover subjects to succumb to injury or ineffectiveness in their careers.
“I don’t believe in a jinx. If I did, I wouldn’t be on the front cover of it,” Young said. “It’s a risk out here for us athletes every day. If it happens, it happens, but I pray to God that it doesn’t.”
Young said his favorite team in the game as a kid was playing the New York Giants and Lawrence Taylor.
Young, in honor of his being on the cover, is conducing an “Importance of Education” contest that features a back-to-school essay competition. Five winners will receive a copy of Madden ’08 autographed by Young. Young also presented a $10,000 check to linebacker Keith Bulluck’s Believe and Achieve Foundation.
INJURIES: Cornerback Andre Woolfolk said it would likely be a couple of days before he knows the full severity of his hamstring injury. Woolfolk visited Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday.
LenDale White did some individual drills in the morning practice, but sat out the afternoon work. White is scheduled to start Friday night in New England if healthy.
Others who sat out both practices included safety Donnie Nickey, tight end Ben Troupe (foot), offensive lineman Mike Otto (knee), receiver David Givens (knee) and Woolfolk.
Reynaldo Hill (groin) did some light work in the morning, but did not work in the afternoon. Jamie Petrowski (legs) worked in the morning, but not the afternoon as well, while Mahelona (ankle) sat out the morning and practiced in the afternoon.
TOUGH GUY: Cornerback Nick Harper missed the morning work because of a root canal, but returned to practice in the afternoon.
Harper arrived for the morning practice, but was numb from the Novacaine from the procedure.
“I had already took some codeine, some pain pills and I tried to go outside and watch practice, but I was a little drowsy, so I came in here and took a nap. But I was able to go this afternoon,” Harper said.