Wide receiver Nate Washington left the field with a right hamstring injury in Monday’s practice, and his status for the season opener is now uncertain.
The Titans have only two-and-a-half weeks before the regular season opener at Pittsburgh Sept. 10, and Washington was scheduled to undergo and MRI on the injury after falling on a deep pass thrown by Vince Young in one-on-one drills.
Washington was behind cornerback DeMarcus Faggins on the play, but fell as he could not reach the pass. Washington was down and tended to by trainers. He got up and walked off to the trainers’ room under his own power with trainers and team doctors.
“We don’t have any information. He’s got a little mild hamstring going,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “Anytime a receiver has a hamstring, you’re concerned about it. We don’t have the information. We haven’t done the tests yet.
“I’ll say it’s not season-ending. With the information I have right now, I haven’t ruled him out for the opener. I don’t know.”
The Titans signed Washington to a six-year, $27 million package ($9 million guaranteed) this off-season away from the Steelers and are counting on him to bolster a passing game that ranked 27th overall last season.
In the past, the Titans have had bad luck before in free agency at the wide receiver position. Former free agent pickups Yancey Thigpen and David Givens were both plagued by injuries after coming to Tennessee.
Quarterback Kerry Collins is hopeful that Washington, with whom he has developed a rapport on the practice field, will return soon.
“Nobody knows the extent of it, but as much as we’re expecting him to help us this year, we want him to be as healthy as he can be,” Collins said. “You don’t want anybody to go down, but especially somebody you brought in here to be basically your No. 1 receiver. We’ll see how he is.”
Washington was unavailable for comment in the Titans locker room after practice, but was in the building Monday evening.
If Washington misses time, plus the decision to waive Chris Davis on Monday, the Titans could be thin at wide receiver and might have to make a move there.
“I don’t think Nate is going to practice tomorrow. This is going to give the younger guys an opportunity to practice,” Fisher said.
At the top of that list is first-round pick Kenny Britt, who assumed first-team reps once Washington was injured. Beyond that, the Titans have rookie Dominique Edison, Paul Williams and Lavelle Hawkins.
“This is my opportunity to show that if somebody goes down, I can fill their shoes and everything,” Britt said. “Just like the other guys on our receiving corps, if one of the guys goes down, somebody has to step up and fill their shoes.”