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Titans cut Velasco, place Marc Mariani on IR

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)

The Tennessee Titans have released Fernando Velasco, who started 16 games last season on the offensive line, and placed returner Marc Mariani on injured reserve.

The Titans announced their roster moves Saturday trimming the roster to 53.

Velasco became a starter when Eugene Amano tore a tricep in August 2012, and the lineman started 13 games at center and three at guard. He signed a tender this offseason to stay with Tennessee.

But the Titans revamped their offensive line this offseason, signing new left guard Andy Levitre, Rob Turner and Chris Spencer. They also drafted Chance Warmack of Alabama at No. 10 overall to be their new right guard with Brian Schwenke out of California in the fourth round as their possible center of the future. Schwenke missed crucial time in training camp with a sore left hamstring.

Turner took advantage of the opportunity. He started three of the four preseason games and had been practicing more with the first-team line recently. With the decision to release Velasco, he appears to have won the competition to start the season at center in the final piece of the Titans' new interior on the line.

Tennessee also released Rusty Smith, choosing to go with two quarterbacks in Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Smith still is eligible for the practice squad if he clears waivers. Coach Mike Munchak said keeping two quarterbacks always is on the table for discussion, especially if the Titans needed to keep an extra player at another position.

Munchak also said Friday they would be checking the waiver wires for players they could add to the roster.

The Titans also waived defensive tackle Stefan Charles; tight end Jack Doyle; safety Corey Lynch; fullback Collin Mooney; receiver Rashad Ross; linebackers Tim Shaw and Scott Solomon and Jonathan Willard and cornerback Khalid Wooten. That leaves Tennessee with only six linebackers, and Akeem Ayers, Zach Brown and Zaviar Gooden all missed games this preseason with injuries. Colin McCarthy just returned from a hamstring injury that kept him out three weeks.

Mariani missed last season after breaking his leg in the preseason. He worked all offseason and played in the first preseason game only to hurt his shoulder and miss the rest of the preseason. Now he's back on injured reserve, a move that leaves Darius Reynaud as the Titans' punt and kick returner for a second season.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Tagged: Titans, Fernando Velasco

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