Tennessee Titans center Eugene Amano was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a neck injury.
Amano had suffered at least three different neck stingers this season. To replace him in the lineup, the Titans will turn to Fernando Velasco, who has filled in for Amano several times this season.
To fill the hole on the 53-man roster, the Titans signed defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard, who was on the Houston Texans practice squad.
Sheppard (6-2, 280) is an undrafted free agent from Arkansas.
Amano, who was drafted by the Titans in the seventh-round of the 2004 draft, was an offseason priority for the team. The Titans kept him out of free agency with a new five-year, $26 million contract. Amano then moved from left guard to center, taking over for Kevin Mawae - who eventually retired.
Sheppard (6-2, 280) is an undrafted free agent from Arkansas and played in one game for the Texans this year.
This opens up an opportunity for Velasco, a player who is one of the strongest Titans based on his weight room prowess and and solid work ethic.
The Titans have been high on Velasco's potential since he first came to them as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia in 2008. He spent the bulk of '08 and '09 on the practice squad before being moved to the active roster toward the end of last season.