Contest to be Titans' starting center takes a painful turn

Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 10:12pm

The competition at center moved from the practice field to the training room Thursday.

Kevin Matthews did not start the Tennessee Titans’ second evening practice of training camp. Eugene Amano did not finish.

That meant by the end of the night Fernando Velasco, considered a candidate to start at right guard, was at center with the first-team offense. There was no immediate word on how long he might have to stay there.

“We were planning on [Velasco] doing a lot of center this whole week because of Kevin Matthews not repping [Thursday],” coach Mike Munchak said. “Unfortunately we Eugene getting hurt, he got moved up real quickly.

“So he’ll continue to do that, and we’ll see how everybody is and … where we go from there.”

Amano, the starting center for the past two seasons, went down late in the workout due to an issue with his right triceps. After being treated on the field, he walked to the training room holding the arm.

The expectation is that he will undergo an MRI exam on Friday.

“He got it caught,” Munchak said. “I think a helmet hit it, I’m not sure. … A lot of times once the soreness goes down it settles.”

Matthews was held out of the session after he experienced concussion-like symptoms a day earlier. Munchak said the issue might have been related to the heat but that the team’s medical staff took a cautious approach with him.

“He didn’t take any hit that was noticeable that created a problem,” Munchak said. “It could have been multiple hits. … We’re just making sure he’s OK before he practices.”

• Call it a career: Keith Bulluck will formally announce his retirement Friday at the Titans’ facility.

Tennessee’s first-round draft pick in 2000, he played 11 years in the NFL — the first 10 with the Titans. His last season was 2010, when he made 28 tackles in 13 games for the New York Giants.

He made 1,293 tackles in his career, had 100 or more eight straight seasons and was Tennessee’s top tackler six times.

• Final farewell: According to Munchak, funeral arrangements for wide receiver prospect O.J. Murdock, who died from a self-inflected gunshot wound Monday in Tampa, will be Saturday.

Details on who will represent the team there have not been finalized.