Titans receiver Kenny Britt says he has a small crack in one of his ribs that won’t stop him from playing — or catching passes — against the New York Jets on Sunday.
The fifth-year receiver went without a catch in last week’s 20-17 win over the Chargers where he was sidelined during the game-winning drive. Jake Locker threw five passes to Britt, but the receiver had a couple drops and a couple penalties.
Britt said Wednesday that his confidence in himself has not been shaken at all.
”All I have to do is put my mind to it,” Britt said.
This was supposed to be the breakout season for Britt after knee injuries the past two seasons. The Titans’ top draft pick in 2009 out of Rutgers, Britt put up some nice numbers in his first two seasons leading the team with 1,476 yards and tying for the team lead with 12 touchdowns.
He stayed out of trouble off the field this offseason, and Britt looked ready to take advantage of his size at 6-foot-3 and 223 pounds giving Locker a big physical target.
But Britt also is in the final year of his rookie contract, and he tweeted last week that he expected this to be his final season. Now catching the ball and drawing penalty flags are just part of his mistakes on the field. Fans booed Britt heavily for his first drop and first penalty last week, a false start that forced a punt on the opening drive.
Britt insists that worry about his future is not distracting him.
”I don’t even think about that when I’m on the field, when I’m at practice or in this locker room with the other guys like that,” Britt said. ”None of the outside stuff bothers me. You know what? It’s more just staying in the moment and looking the ball in instead of … try to catch and turn around and run before you catch the ball.”
Britt’s coach and teammates remain confident he’ll bounce back.
Coach Mike Munchak, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and receivers coach Shawn Jefferson all have talked with Britt. Munchak said Britt had a great week of practice last week after all the attention generated by his posts on Twitter only to have dropped passes and penalties in the game.
”That’s frustrating,” Munchak said. ”You’ve got to not give up on what you’re doing. Believe in your work ethic, believe in yourself and come out there this week and change the script.”
Munchak also said the Titans (2-1) can’t force throws to the receiver and won’t go to Britt just to help him.
The best thing about Britt may be his self-confidence. Veteran receiver Nate Washington said that will help his teammate out the most right now.
”He’s hit a rough spot,” Washington said of Britt. ”It’s happened to all of us. He is going to remain confident, and he’ll bounce back. He’ll start hearing the cheers again and cause people to forget about what happened in the past.”
Britt officially was listed Wednesday with neck and ribs on the injury report. Fans cheered the receiver when he walked off the field after landing on his neck, shoulder and then back after having his legs taken out from under him after going up high for a ball he didn’t catch.
The Titans need Britt against the Jets (2-1), who are holding opponents to 270 total yards offense.
”I have faith in everything I can do and in my God-given abilities,” Britt said.
Notes: Britt was one of six Titans who did not practice Wednesday. RB Shonn Greene (right knee) already has said he won’t play Sunday. RT David Stewart (right leg) is expected to practice Thursday, and TE Delanie Walker (left toe) was out of a walking boot and may do a few things Thursday. DT Sammie Hill (right ankle) also did not practice along with LB Patrick Bailey (hamstring). LB Moise Fokou (neck) and CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (hamstring) were limited.