Once again, the Tennessee Titans are thin at the safety position.
The Titans lost strong safety Kenny Vaccaro to a dislocated elbow in the first half of Sunday’s overtime win over the Philadelphia Eagles, and Coach Mike Vrabel said the veteran will miss some time with the injury.
Vaccaro was signed by the Titans shortly after the start of camp when starter Johnathan Cyprien tore his ACL and was lost for the season. Vaccaro had his arm in a sling on the Titans sideline during the second half and overtime.
With Vaccaro down, Vrabel said the Titans would probably look from within to add a safety rather than bring one in from the street. Either Damon Webb or Josh Kalu, both undrafted rookies, could be added to the 53-man roster in the event the Titans need to add a safety numbers-wise.
That also means that replacing him the starting lineup means that veteran Kendrick Lewis and rookie Dane Cruikshank will probably have increased roles in the secondary for the next several weeks. Special teamer Brynden Trawick is also a safety by trade.
“Kenny is going to have to miss a few weeks. I don’t think we’ll go outside the building and look for a safety. We’ll look at who we have here, and we’ll look at the practice squad. That means that Dane will have to be ready to go, and B.T. and everybody else,” Vrabel said.
Vrabel was asked about how Lewis played in filling in for Vaccaro. It was Lewis’ first action of the season after missing half of preseason and the first three games with a foot injury. He left the gane Sunday a couple of times as well, but returned to finish.
“Inconsistent, like a lot of other guys. There were some good plays, and then there were a lot of other plays he’d like to have back. He’s familiar with the system, and he’ll only improve,” Vrabel said.
Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard also exited the game early Sunday with a shoulder injury and did not return to the game. Vrabel is more optimistic about his chances to not miss time.
“Wood is being evaluated. I think he’ll be OK. I can’t tell you 100 percent that he’s not going to miss some time, but we’re hopeful,” he said.
Also, backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert still has not cleared the NFL concussion protocol, according to Vrabel.