When Kenny Britt returned to practice last week after having sat out a month with a hamstring injury, one question immediately came to mind.
“I (was) asking [wide receivers coach] Fred Graves if I need to learn another position,” Britt said. “He told me, ‘Not yet.’ I’m still at the ‘X’ position.”
In his absence, of course, Randy Moss was claimed off waivers and plugged into that very spot.
That he has not exactly thrived there, now begs another question: Should Moss expect to become a backup now that Britt looks ready to play in a game once again?
In four games since the Tennessee Titans got him, Moss – one of NFL’s all-time top 10 in receptions – has caught just five passes for 62 yards with no touchdowns. The last time Britt played a full game (Oct. 24 against Philadelphia) he caught seven passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
Moss has started all but seven games in his career and all but two since his rookie season of 1998.
“I don’t really know how it’s going to work,” Moss said. “Hopefully, Kenny can come out there and pick up where he left off. I know coming off a hamstring is a hard injury, especially for the position that we play, but alternating or whatever’s going to help the team win a game is what it’s going to be.
“Hopefully, he’s going to come out there, give us a spark and make some plays for us. We’ll see what happens Thursday.”
Britt participated in all of Tuesday’s workout in preparation for a prime-time game against Indianapolis (7:20 p.m., Thursday, LP Field), and for the second straight day was not listed on the Titans’ injury report. It’s all but certain, therefore, that he will take the field for the first time since he was hurt early in a game Oct. 31 at San Diego, the first of Tennessee’s current five-game losing streak.
“If healthy he’s going to play,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “I haven’t decided who is going to start yet.
“It looks like if he gets through (Wednesday), he’ll be able to play. How long? I don’t know. He’s had six weeks off, and you try to maintain the conditioning level several weeks after the injury after you start to heal. You just can’t duplicate the full speed, play after play after play. Conditioning very well could be an issue, so we’ll just have to watch it.”
The most common line of thinking at the time Moss was acquired – three days after Britt sustained his injury – was that he would be a perfect replacement for Britt in terms of his size, speed and big-play ability.
Instead, the Titans have gotten little production from that position, not to mention the entire offense. They have one offensive touchdown in the four games with Moss (none in the past three weeks), have been shut out once and have not recorded a victory.
“We’ve certainly had our opportunities,” quarterback Kerry Collins said. “I had an opportunity (Sunday) to hit Randy on a long pass and didn’t throw a very good ball. (There were) some opportunities in earlier games. It’s unfortunate.
“ … There’s a lot of things that are frustrating right now and not getting Randy more involved is one of the most frustrating.”
Despite the time he has missed, Britt still leads the team – and is among the NFL’s top 20 – in touchdown receptions with seven. His 434 receiving yards are second among the Titans and his 23 receptions rank third.
“I really just wanted to come out and make some plays,” Moss said. “Since I’ve been here, nothing’s happened.
“Hopefully Kenny can come in and pick up where he left off. I followed him at the beginning of the season when he was having a hell of a year.”
It’s possible that by Sunday he might be following Britt in a different sense – on the depth chart.