The gruesome injury to Marc Mariani in Thursday night’s game did more to the Tennessee Titans roster than just alter the pecking order in the return game.
Mariani’s injury now has the Titans in even more of a quandary regarding what to do with Kenny Britt and how that might play into the 53-man roster based on whether or not he is suspended for a DUI last month.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told TitanInsider that Britt’s case is “still under review.” But the Titans now need a decision, and they need one soon from the league office and Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Follow me here. Even if he avoids a suspension, Britt is expected to be limited early in the season due to his recovery from three knee procedures. Coach Mike Munchak indicated this week that probably the best the Titans could expect from Britt in the season opener against New England on Sept. 9 is a handful of plays – 15 or 20 max.
That said, if Britt could even give the Titans 10 snaps, provided he is able to suit up and go, it would allow Tennessee to still suit up five receivers on opening day without having to make a roster move at the position to compensate for the loss of Mariani.
But if Britt is suspended anywhere from two to four games at the outset of the season and is completely unavailable, that and the loss of Mariani leaves the Titans with only four receivers they feel comfortable with going into the opener – Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins.
It means either keeping another receiver in camp who may not have been ready enough or good enough otherwise to keep on the active roster. Or it means signing a late free agent off the street or grabbing someone after final cuts are made. Either way, it’s not always a good option. Remember how well the Donnie Avery signing worked last year?
What this goes back to is this: Roster cuts begin Monday with the final round scheduled to take place next Friday. The Titans need to know Britt’s fate before then. That way they can adjust accordingly to sign or claim a receiver, if need be, to compensate for the low numbers made worse by Mariani’s injury.