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Smith put on IR, Johnson promoted

While the quarterback situation took center stage for the Tennessee Titans regarding injuries to Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker, there were plenty of other issues to be dealt with as well.\

The Titans placed safety Anthony Smith on injured reserve with a groin injury, and brought safety Robert Johnson up from the practice squad. The Titans signed Terrence Wheatley to the practice squad.

Other Titans who did not practice include defensive end William Hayes (groin), linebacker Patrick Bailey (hamstring), receiver Nate Washington (ankle), linebacker Gerald McRath (knee/ankle) and running back Javon Ringer (hand).

Johnson, a fifth-round pick of the Titans in 2010, will get to make his NFL debut this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. Johnson was on the 53-man roster last year, but was inactive for all 16 games.

“I'm very excited. Last year, I was on the roster, but I was never activated – ever,” Johnson said. “I was just going through the struggles of being on the sideline and trying to get myself used to just learning the playbook and getting my mental reps from the sideline. This year, it took a long time, but I'm back on the 53-man roster, and I will be playing. It will be my first actual game.”

Johnson will be used mostly on special teams, but Coach Mike Munchak said there could be some packages where he could play on defense similar to Smith.

Munchak indicated that defensive end William Hayes would be questionable with his groin injury. Hayes said he believes the injury is not really serious, though his status for Sunday is far from definite.

“I'm all right. I'm just a little sore. After the game, it got really sore,” Hayes said. “It's just a little setback, but I'll be fine.”

McRath said his sprained knee is the bigger issue with him, rather than the ankle. He indicated that most of the swelling is gone from his ankle, but some swelling remains in his knee.

“I can walk. I'm just taking it day-by-day,” McRath said. “I'll just see how I do in the morning when I wake up. The swelling is starting to go down. It won't be long before I'm back on the field jogging and getting back into the mix of things.

“I'm always optimistic. I could wake up tomorrow and feel totally fine, but the doctor says it is just one of those things you have to take day-by-day.”
Munchak said he expects that Bailey and Washington could be able to practice again as soon as Thursday.

Meanwhile, Ringer goes to the shelf likely for the season, but the Titans are holding off putting him on injured reserve. They will hold that spot long enough to see if a bigger need at another position arises. Jamie Harper will slide in as the No. 2 running back behind Chris Johnson, and fullback Ahmard Hall could get a chance to carry the football on occasion now as well.

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