The Tennessee Titans have lost rookie first-round pick Derrick Morgan for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Morgan had been a regular part of the defensive line rotation since coming back from hamstring and calf problems that had bothered him in training camp and OTAs.
The news is a little better on defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, who suffered an MCL injury and could miss some time as well with what is likely a sprain. Marks did not finish Sunday's game after Denver quarterback Kyle Orton fell on his right leg.
Also, receiver Justin Gage will miss some time with a hamstring injury he suffered in the first half against the Broncos.
Morgan was the 16th pick overall in this year's draft and had 1.5 sacks in the his four games played this year.
Those injuries to Morgan and Marks leave the Titans with only three healthy defensive ends and three healthy defensive tackles. At end, the Titans have Jason Babin, Dave Ball and William Hayes who is still making his way back from a sprained MCL. Tony Brown, Jason Jones and Jovan Haye are the Titans only tackles on the roster. They have Hall Davis on the practice squad.
Defensive end Jacob Ford is close to returning, according to Titans coach Jeff Fisher, from a knee injury suffered against Pittsburgh.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher expressed disappointment over the loss of Morgan, but said he hopes the first-round pick will be back by training camp.
"The ACL is a lengthy, grueling process," Fisher said. "If there’s any positive to be taken from this, is that he’ll be back by the mid-to-end of the offseason program and should be fine for training camp, as compared to a late season injury. But for him, it’s difficult because he was playing very well for us. For our defensive line, he’s going to be missed but we have guys who will have to step up. You deal with injuries all the time and guys step up and they play."