Forearm could keep Harper out of Titans' finale

Monday, December 28, 2009 at 5:02pm

Veteran cornerback Nick Harper might not be able to play in the season finale at Seattle on Sunday because of issues with the forearm he broke back in October.

Harper left Friday night’s 42-17 loss to San Diego at halftime because of pain in the forearm.

“He came in at halftime and was very sore. He had an issue with the fracture site, to be specific, but I’m not sure how serious it is,” Fisher said.

If he cannot go, the Titans would turn back to Rod Hood, who has not played in six weeks, would return to the starting lineup. Hood, signed as a street free agent just after Harper broke the forearm, had three interceptions during his time on the field in Harper’s stead over a four-week period.

“I think Nick’s got some issues with the forearm. If he can’t play, we’ll go with Rod,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said of the injury situation.

Harper will be evaluated over the next couple of days to determine if he can play against the Seahawks on Sunday. Fisher said Harper was playing at less than 100 percent since coming back from the injury on Nov. 23 against Houston.

“It’s been sore. He injured it on a tackle. We’ll have a better idea over the next couple of days,” Fisher said. “He wasn’t 100 percent, but still we felt like having an understanding of offenses, and we felt like he gave us the best chances. Rod was productive for us, and if he can’t go, we’ll play Rod.”

Hood has not played returning an interception for a touchdown in the Titans’ victory over Buffalo on Nov. 15. When Harper exited the game on Friday night, the Titans were forced to use rookie Jason McCourty in the second half, because Hood was a healthy scratch and rookie Ryan Mouton was injured in the first quarter.

Fisher indicated that the choice to use the two rookies ahead of Hood on the active list in recent weeks was driven by special teams.

“They’re doing the things that we drafted them to do the second half of the season on special teams. They’re covering kickoffs, covering punts and those things,” Fisher said.