Lance Schulters has already been down this path once with his dislocated shoulder this season.
The injury didn’t keep him out of the lineup the first time he separated it this season back on Sept. 22 vs. Cleveland, and the Tennessee Titans free safety vows it won’t keep him on the sideline this week either.
Schulters re-injured his left shoulder making a fourth-down tackle on Indianapolis running back James Mungro at the 1-yard line Sunday to help the Titans grab a 23-15 win over the Colts. The shoulder was completely knocked out of place on the play as Schulters lay on the field for several minutes before the Titans’ medical staff could pop it back into place.
An MRI Monday showed the extent of the damage to be about what was figured in the original diagnosis, leaving Schulters questionable for Sunday’s home game with the Houston Texans.
“It’s similar to the injury I had earlier in the year,” Schulters said, “and I didn’t miss any time then.”
Still, if Schulters can play Sunday, it will require some healing and some help.
“He was very sore [Sunday] and has told the medical staff he was playing, but we’ll have to see,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “It was better [Monday]. There is a chance he could play with a harness.”
Schulters’ safety mate in the secondary, Tank Williams, was also injured and left Sunday’s game, suffering a shoulder and neck stinger in the second quarter. However, Fisher said Monday that Williams should be able to practice this week without much problem.
If Williams and Schulters can both go, it will be good news for the Titans, as the two new safeties had their collective best effort on Sunday against the Colts. In addition to Schulters’ stop, Williams caused a pair of fumbles, one of which Keith Bulluck returned 61 yards for a touchdown.
“Tank we put in some pressure packages and he had a huge sack that caused a fumble,” Fisher said. “That’s the kind of play we liked to get from Tank. Of course, Lance was all over the place and I know Lance was involved in that fourth-down play there on the 1-yard line.”
There were other concerns for the Titans injury-wise on Monday as well. Quarterback Steve McNair got a case of turf toe from the artificial surface of the RCA Dome. That was in addition to his slight groin strain.
“He can’t get his shoe on right now. He’s got a great deal of swelling,” Fisher said. “It’s the other toe, not the one he had surgery on. It’s the big toe of his other [right] foot. He’s in a boot, and we’re going to have to try to get the swelling out.
“Steve’s toe was fine before the game, and now it’s swollen. So I would look at it as having something to do with the turf.”
Receiver Justin McCareins took both a hip contusion and a slightly sprained knee from Sunday’s game. The knee sprain came when McCareins was hit by the Colts’ Clifton Crosby while trying to fair-catch a punt. He muffed the ball, but Crosby was hit with a 15-yard penalty for violating the 2-yard halo rule.
Fisher indicated that McCareins should be able to practice this week.
Cornerback Samari Rolle had an AC shoulder sprain, but should be a go as well.
Also, linebacker Randall Godfrey continues to be troubled by an ankle injury that probably will need surgery by season’s end. He is going to get a third opinion on the injury this week.
“There’s a pretty good chance he’s going to need some surgery when the season is over, no different than any chronic ankle situations that need to be cleaned out,” Fisher said. “The question is can we treat him to get him back on the field, and I think we can, and he thinks we can, to get him through the year.”
There was some good news for the Titans on the injury front as they have the potential to get three players back this week, including All-Pro defensive end Jevon Kearse. Both Kearse and running back Robert Holcombe will be questionable on this week’s injury report after being out since the opening game.
“Between the two of them, I’d say Robert probably has the better chance [to play Sunday],” Fisher said. “However, Jevon did some running [Monday] on the practice field, and we’re going to just watch him daily and see how he is. He could quite likely be a game-time decision for us this week.”
Fisher said if Kearse can go, he would play more than simply as a third-down rusher, though his reps might be limited.
“It would make sense to say, ‘OK, we’ll play you on third down and let you rush the passer,’ but my feeling is if he can go, he can go,” Fisher said. “If he’s able to rush on third down, then he should be able to play. I’m not going to put him out there to rush on third down because we’re not quite sure whether it’s healed or not, so if he’s healed, he plays, and we would expect him to play a little more than that.”
Also, fullback Greg Comella, who practiced last Friday, should have a good chance to play Sunday.