McNair considering time off

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 at 1:00am

Steve McNair's ability to play through pain over the years has been the stuff of legend.

But sometimes, even legends fall short of expectations, and McNair, whom Titans coach Jeff Fisher described as "day-to-day" Monday, could benefit long-term with some time off.

McNair re-injured his sternum again Sunday, taking a sandwich hit from Minnesota Vikings' defenders Chris Hovan and Kevin Williams in the first quarter and did not return to the eventual 20-3 Tennessee loss.

A CT scan Monday revealed McNair has the same type of injury he suffered toward the end of the Titans' Sept. 26 game in Jacksonville.

That original injury also included some tearing of the rib cartilage and hematoma (brusing) in the sternum and chest area.

The Titans confirmed McNair again has a bruise in the area, something that has caused him pain and shortness of breath.

"It's about the same [as the first injury]," Fisher said. "He's got a little hematoma. Anytime you get a bruise or anything like that, there's going to be some minor bleeding."

When McNair suffered the injury against Jacksonville, he spent two nights in the hospital and missed the following Sunday's game in San Diego, before returning against Green Bay on a Monday night.

After Sunday's loss, an obviously frustrated McNair said he would again consider sitting out this week against Cincinnati to let the injury properly heal. If he does, he would get an additional week of rest because of the bye week Nov. 7.

"It's not going to heal in just one week or two weeks or three weeks," McNair said after Sunday's game. "If I don't get enough rest for it to heal properly, it's going to continue to give me problems."

Fisher said the Titans would seriously consider giving McNair the extra time to put the injury behind him.

"We've discussed it. We'll consider it, but we'll see how he is," Fisher said. "He was a little sore last week, and we held him out of practice Wednesday, but he came back and threw and he was fine. He's just going to have to work through this. We'll just have to list him day-to-day."

Brown dinged

Running back Chris Brown, who has been plagued by ankle problems this season, now has a new injury to worry about - turf toe in his left toe.

After undergoing an MRI Monday afternoon, Brown learned the injury will likely keep him out of practice all week, and will be listed questionable Sunday against the Bengals.

Brown finished with 55 yards on 14 carries Sunday and was the only Titans player to have a rushing attempt Sunday.

If Brown cannot go or is limited Sunday, some of the ball-carrying load will fall to Antowain Smith, who has 84 yards on 24 rushing attempts this season.

Other injuries

Defensive end Carlos Hall might have to have arthroscopic surgery on his swollen right knee in the next couple of days.

The Titans performed and MRI Monday and will wait for some of the swelling to subside before making a determination on Hall's status.

"We're going to let it settle down," Fisher said. "It's the same knee, we scoped [in 2002], and he's got some wear and tear. We hope the swelling is the result of a bone bruise, and not necessarily as a result of some cartilage floating around."

Hall missed one game and had the bye week when he underwent the procedure in 2002.

  • There was some good news regarding players who have been out with injuries.

    Linebacker Rocky Calmus (back) and defensive tackle Jared Clauss (concussion) were to return to the practice field Monday.

    Also tight end Shad Meier, who had his appendix removed before the Houston game, has been cleared to return to practice, though he will not be involved in any contact. Fisher said there is a chance Meier will be able to play Sunday, giving Tennessee two healthy tight ends again.

    Tight end Erron Kinney is progressing from a torn calf, but will be doubtful again this week.

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