Titans put Justin Hunter, Jason McCourty on injured reserve
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans will be short-handed when they play Thursday at Jacksonville, thanks to a pair of season-ending surgeries.
Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey announced Monday that wide receiver Justin Hunter (ankle) and cornerback Jason McCourty (groin) were being placed on injured reserve.
Hunter underwent surgery on Monday for a fractured right ankle sustained in Sunday's 27-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Hunter hurt his ankle while making a block.
This marks the second straight year the 2013 second-round pick has suffered a season-ending injury. He had a lacerated spleen in 2014.
Hunter finished the season with 22 catches for 264 yards and one touchdown.
It's the latest injury to the Titans' receiver corps. Kendall Wright has missed the past two games with a sprained medial collateral ligament. Mularkey said Wright did some running on Monday and he's ''hopeful'' the former first-round pick could play Thursday.
McCourty is undergoing a second surgical procedure for a groin injury that first occurred on Aug. 6 and cost him all of the preseason and the first three games of the regular season. He had surgery on Aug. 24, but the injury flared up again. McCourty has missed the past two games for the Titans.
The Titans also may be without cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson, who re-injured his hamstring Sunday. Cornerback Perrish Cox, who missed the Panthers game with a hamstring injury, could return to the lineup this week.
''We've got to do some things practice-wise,'' Mularkey said. ''The tempo has almost got to be game speed, so we can figure out who is healthy, not only in the secondary, but also with Kendall and the timing of the passing game.''
Also, nose tackle Al Woods will miss a couple of weeks with a high ankle sprain sustained Sunday.
It all adds up to a 2-7 team limping into a divisional matchup against in Jacksonville, which is one game in front of the Titans in the AFC South standings after a last-second win at Baltimore on Sunday.
Not only will the Titans have to monitor the injured players, they'll have to it during a short week. Mularkey already was planning ahead, especially after a physical game Sunday against the unbeaten Panthers.
''We've got to be smart about how we go about this week, because it was a physical game,'' Mularkey said. ''I anticipated that. The schedule has been kind of formatted to handle that with a light walkthrough tonight and a later morning for them tomorrow morning. They can get some rest and come in a little bit later. We're not going to practice till the afternoon tomorrow. And then Wednesday, it will be a Saturday-type tempo.''
Despite their record, the Titans remain alive in the AFC South, no team in the division has a winning record.
Thursday's game represents a homecoming of sorts for Mularkey, who coached the Jaguars in 2012 but was fired after going 2-14 his lone season in Jacksonville.
''I just want these guys to win,'' Mularkey said. ''That's important to me. It has nothing to do with who we're playing. It's just a matter of winning.''
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