After rookies J.R. Tavai and Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil suffered injuries in Tennessee’s preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons, the team found themselves short on depth at outside linebacker behind starters Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan.
Enter Andy Studebaker, who has 94 games of NFL experience, including 13 with the Indianapolis Colts last season. The Titans signed the the 29-year-old on Monday.
“He’s a veteran that’s been a good player, contributed on special teams. We’ve played against him a few times through the years, I’ve always had a lot of respect for him,’’ head coach Ken Whisenhunt said, per the team’s official website. “With our issues at linebacker, he’s a veteran guy who can come in and perform for us and help out on special teams. It’s a good opportunity for him and a good opportunity to us."
The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Studebaker has played both inside and outside linebacker during his seven years in the league. He said he’s more focused on the opportunity than he is with where he’ll line up on defense.
“I’ll let them decide (where I play),’’ Studebaker said. “For now I’ll just keep grinding and whatever they give me I’ll take and I’ll worry about all that later and leave it up to the coaches.
“You do what you can. You control what you can control, and leave the stuff that’s up to other people, leave it up to them. And the stuff that’s up to me I’ll do my best.”
Last season with the Colts, Studebaker had 13 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He also contributed four tackles on special teams.
Tavai suffered a knee injury, while Cudjoe-Virgil injured his hamstring in Friday’s loss to the Falcons.