Defensive end Derrick Morgan said in hindsight, he probably should have sat out last week's 23-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to rest his sore ankle.
Morgan was one of eight Titans on the injury report on Wednesday and was limited in practice.
“I'm trying to go out there and do what I can to make plays. I probably shouldn't have played last week,” Morgan said. “It was more so that I was pushing through it, and as the game went on, my ankle wasn't doing good. But I've got high expectations for myself and I'm doing everything I can to exceed those expectations.”
Morgan, the Titans first-round pick a year ago, missed all but four games of his rookie year with a torn ACL, then had to have that left knee scoped again in preseason. He injured his ankle in a loss to Atlanta on Nov. 20.
Titans coach Mike Munchak said the Titans will not put players on the field if they can't help the team due to injuries.
“We have high expectations, so if anyone is on the field, you don’t take health into consideration. We are expecting a high level of play, otherwise we wouldn’t have him on the field if we felt he was limited where he wouldn’t help us win or that kind of thing,” Munchak said. “We are expecting the most out of him. We are expecting him to make plays, that’s why he is playing.
“We know that sometimes guys work through injuries and that’s why, especially on the defensive line, you rotate people, you give them a break so you can get the best out of them and have them fresh throughout the game. We will continue to do that and if he is not feeling good or injury becomes an issue, and then obviously, we wouldn’t play him.”
Morgan said the fine line between playing hurt and sitting out can be a tough one to walk.
“That's kind of like the hardest decision is leveling with yourself to say, 'Am I gonna make it worse or is it something I can push through.' It was the kind of thing I could push through, but it was tough last week because I didn't practice till Friday,” Morgan said.
Munchak said Morgan's situation should improve overall the further he gets from the ACL injury.
“Like we all know he came into the season missing the first game, playing with the knee and working his way through that and then catching the ankle here the last couple of weeks. I know it’s frustrating for him and it’s hard to tell where he is at and he knows that,” Munchak said. “He is not going to complain about it. I’m sure he is not as healthy and he would like to be. They say after the ACL the third year, which would be next year for him, would probably feel the most healthy but he is still doing some good things for us this year and we still expect a lot out of him these next five weeks.”
As for other injuries this week, tight end Jared Cook (concussion) and defensive end Jason Jones (knee) were limited.
Center Eugene Amano (hip), linebacker Colin McCarthy (knee), tackle David Stewart (calf), cornerback Tommie Campbell (shoulder) and linebacker Barrett Ruud (groin) were all out of practice. Munchak indicated that Amano, McCarthy and Stewart should practice Thursday, while Campbell could return later in the week. Ruud is still being evaluated after missing most of the past three games.