Titans place DE Ball on IR in trimming to 53
AUG 31, 2012 9:27p ET
Ball had been dealing with concussion symptoms most of the preseason, and the seven-year veteran briefly considered retirement after a concussion suffered while playing against Cincinnati last November. A fourth-round draft pick by San Diego in 2004 out of UCLA, Ball signed with the Titans in 2008 and has 15 1/2 sacks with all of his 23 starts coming with Tennessee.
By being placed on injured reserve Friday, that means the team cannot use a new rule announced Thursday that allows for one player to be activated off injured reserve after the sixth week on the schedule because that person has to be on the 53-man roster after the final cut down.
Ball re-signed with the Titans in April as the team wanted some experience around a bunch of young defensive linemen.
That leaves end Kamerion Wimbley, going into his seventh NFL season, as the most experienced player on a defensive line where the Titans have used five draft picks in the past two drafts.
Tennessee ranked next to last with 28 sacks in 2011. End Keyunta Dawson, a four-year veteran who signed as a free agent this offseason, adds experience after earning a job with a team-high three sacks in the preseason.
The Titans also placed guard Ryan Durand, linebacker Kevin Malast and cornerback Terrence Wheatley on injured reserve.
Tennessee goes into the season with only five receivers. With Kenny Britt suspended for one game, the Titans will have only four available against New England in the season opener Sept. 9 unless they add someone off waivers. They waived receivers Devin Aguilar, James Kirkendoll, Michael Preston and D.J. Woods leaving five on the roster.
The Titans made their final cuts knowing they will be without Britt for only one game after the NFL suspended him for his eighth incident with police, a driving while under the influence arrest July 20 at the Fort Campbell Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Britt met with NFL officials Aug. 5, his second meeting in New York at league headquarters within a year.
The punishment came quickly after the Titans activated Britt off the physically unable to perform list. Britt has been recovering from his third knee surgery within a year, the most recent an arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after two on the right knee he tore his ACL in September 2011.
Britt said after a 10-6 win over New Orleans to cap the preseason Thursday night that he's happy to be out with his teammates soon after training on his own during the week.
"What else would I be doing?" Britt said. "I'm going to get ready for that second game to help my team out and make sure to let them know that I'm ready to go. I believe that I'll be training somewhere around this area."
The Titans also waived tight ends Brandon Barden and Cameron Graham; defensive tackle Zach Clayton; guards Kyle DeVan and Michael Jasper; defensive tackle Lamar Divens; safeties Aaron Francisco and Tracy Wilson; center Chris Morris; defensive end Malcolm Sheppard; and fullback Collin Mooney.