Offensive lineman finally gets opportunity to stick with Titans

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 11:15pm

If all goes well, Kyle DeVan will spend Sunday on the Tennessee Titans’ bench.

That still will be an improvement over the previous several weeks for the fourth-year veteran offensive lineman.

“At times you get frustrated because you’re sitting on the couch but you still support your buddies,” he said. “…I still watch the game. It might be a good thing or a bad thing. I tried not to watch the first game [but] all these guys are my buddies.

“… I want to see our team succeed.”

When the Titans play the Indianapolis Colts for the second time this season, he’ll finally have an up-close view of whatever happens. If things continue as they have of late, he might even find himself in the center of the action.

The team’s offensive line depth has been tested in recent weeks with an unlikely assortment of injuries that put two starters on injured reserve in the last two days – right tackle David Stewart on Tuesday with a broke leg and left guard Steve Hutchinson on Wednesday with a knee injury.

The sequence of events all but guarantees DeVan, who started 31 games for the Colts in 2009 and 2010, will be in uniform at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

“We might actually get to play him this time,” coach Mike Munchak said. “… He becomes our swing guy now that can play the three spots in the middle if we have to go that way. He’s a guy that knows our system, at least he’s familiar with us. It’s hard this time of year, a lot of teams are finding out, you’re scrambling for guys. There are not a lot of guys that are available this late in the season that can come in and help you on a Sunday.

“We’re lucky we have him.”

For those who don’t understand the workings of an NFL roster, it might seem as if the Titans have taken him for granted.

For the last month, his involvement with the team has been a case of now-you-see-him, now-you-don’t. Three times since the start of November he has been waived – always on a Saturday, prior to a game. Each time he was reinstated days later.

“In this world every time you get released you never really know if you’re going to get signed back, but every time they cut me they’ve told me to stay around, they’ll sign me next week,” DeVan said. “I’m just glad they’ve held on to their promise and I’m still a part of this team this week.”

Before he came to the Titans as a free agent in June, four previous teams had cut the three-year starter at Oregon State. He signed with the Washington Redskins in 2008 as an undrafted free agent but was released two months later – before he even got to training camp. The New York Jets then added him, cut him at the end of camp and brought him back as a member of the practice squad for most of that season.

He was with the Colts for two years and spent most of last season with the Philadelphia Eagles, but when each released him, that was that.

In stark contrast has been his relationship with the Titans. The rundown:

• June 4, 2012: Signed by the Titans
• August 31, 2012: Released by the Titans
• October 31, 2012: Signed by the Titans
• November 3, 2012: Waived by the Titans
• November 7, 2012: Signed by the Titans
• November 24, 2012: Waived by the Titans
• November 27, 2012: Signed by the Titans
• December 1, 2012: Waived by the Titans
• December 4, 2012: Signed by the Titans

“You tell your family, ‘Ma, I got released,’ and she’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, what are you going to do?’” he said. “What people don’t understand is people can only dress 46 guys for the game, and typically they only dress seven linemen. I wasn’t going to be one of those seven linemen so essentially my spot can be used for someone else.

“If I come in on Sunday, my jersey and my pads are in my locker in Lucas Oil [Stadium] then I’ll put them on and be ready to go and do my job, whatever my job or whatever my responsibilities are during the course of the game. I’ll go in there and do the best I can.”