Injuries are taking their toll on Tennessee Titans linebackers. Colin McCarthy, Zaviar Gooden and Greg Jones were all unavailable for an Aug. 10 practice. McCarthy continues to slowly recover from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the preseason opener. McCarthy and Gooden have both been ruled out for the Aug. 17 preseason contest against the Cincinnati Bengals.
That’s good news for Gary Guyton, a 27-year-old linebacker who’ll get one more opportunity to extend his NFL career. On Aug. 11, the Titans signed Guyton to a one-year contract (The Tennessean). From 2008-11, Guyton appeared in 60 out of 64 possible regular-season games with the New England Patriots. In 2012, Guyton appeared in one game with the San Diego Chargers.
Not many videos or highlights on Guyton. He was an undrafted free agent from the 2008 NFL Draft who owned the fastest 40-yard dash time for all linebackers (4.47). He appears like an intelligent athlete with high character. He’s likely nothing more than a training camp body who’ll hold the fort down until some linebackers return to the gridiron.
Technically, the Titans don’t need McCarthy before their Week 1 game on Sep. 8. It’s just discouraging to see these lingering durability issues. If McCarthy remains inactive, then Moise Fokou does have a chance to start the season at middle linebacker. And if Fokou plays well, maybe McCarthy gets a permanent demotion to No. 2 middle linebacker.
McCarthy is a talented football player whose talents are rendered meaningless because he can’t stay healthy. Even when McCarthy plays, he’s usually not at full strength. One can only hope that McCarthy and Gooden can return healthy—and stay that way.