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News » Titans' Mawae isn't likely to play


Titans' Mawae isn't likely to play


Titans' Mawae isn't likely to play
sports@timesfreepress.com


NASHVILLE -- For the past two weeks, the Tennessee Titans have been mostly mum about Kevin Mawae's elbow injury.

But Tuesday on Sirius NFL Radio, Mawae strongly suggested that he would not be in the lineup when the Titans face the Baltimore Ravens in Saturday's AFC divisional playoff game.

At the start of the interview, Mawae told Hall of Fame running back John Riggins that he would not play against the Ravens, but he later tempered those comments by saying a final decision had not yet been made.

"Will you be there this weekend?" Riggins asked with his opening question.

"No, I'm not going to play this week. It's still questionable," Mawae responded. "We're day-to-day and hopefully things progress to where I'll be able to play next week. But again, we're day-to-day right now."

Mawae was then asked by Riggins' co-host if he would miss the game Saturday.

"Don't know. We're preparing like I'm not," Mawae said. "Leroy Harris is taking the snaps right now, and my job is just to get healthy and get stronger. But the final decision has not been made yet."

Mawae has not practiced since suffering the injury in the Titans' Dec. 21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was not available to the media after Tuesday's practice.

Mawae did try a few snaps to quarterback Kerry Collins during seven-on-seven drills, even trying some snaps left-handed and tossing a few shotgun snaps with his right arm that was sporting a brace.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher said Mawae could not snap left-handed in a game, and Mawae said any decision regarding playing time would hinge on how much he could help the team in his current condition with an elbow that appears to be sprained.

"Well, any time a player is injured or hurt," Mawae said, "the player is the one that's got to be honest and forthright with his injury to the coaching staff and the medical staff. How well do I feel I can go? If I can go, can I help the team or am I just going to be a hindrance to the team? So that's something that in my mind I'm thinking about, I'm communicating with Jeff Fisher about and the training staff about and with my offensive line coach.

"But the very real possibility that I might not go, I've got to make sure the guy behind me has to be prepared and knows the level of communication that the other guys on the offensive line are expecting and things like that."

Harris made his first NFL start at Indianapolis in place of Mawae and said he is ready for the challenge of the Ravens and the playoffs, if need be.

"I definitely feel like I'm ready to go," Harris said. "Last week was big for me. I got a chance to take a lot of reps with the first-group guys and just get a feel for them and learn how to communicate with them."

The Ravens' defensive front is certainly formidable in any circumstance, much less in the postseason for an inexperienced center, who would have to make the line calls.

"They have a good system, and they play it well," Harris said. "They've been one of the top defenses in the league for years. It's going to be a good challenge."

Duo back at practice

Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch did return to practice Tuesday. Both went through about half of practice before retiring to watch the remainder of the session.

"Half a practice is better than none, and I'll be hopefully a full practice tomorrow," Haynesworth said.

Haynesworth has not played since Dec. 14, when he sprained the MCL in his left knee at Houston, but said he knew he would be returning when he ran last week without any major issues.

"Once I ran the other day, I knew I was fine. I didn't feel it or anything like that," Haynesworth said. "I'm just happy I get to practice and knock some of the rust off in practice. That's my big thing. By doing that, I feel like I can be almost back to where I was before I got hurt."

Haynesworth, who has a photo of a grizzly bear taped beside the name plate at his locker, said he is eager to return to action after missing the final two regular-season games and not practicing last week.

"I've been in hibernation for a month now, and the grizzly is hungry and he's ready to eat," Haynesworth said.

Vanden Bosch is back after having surgery in mid-December to repair a groin injury. He was not available for the media in the locker room Tuesday.

Even with those two back, the Titans might not have a full allotment of defensive linemen Saturday. Dave Ball still has not returned to practice with a back problem.

Motivation

Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck likes the fact that many national media members are saying the Ravens will win at LP Field on Saturday.

"We've got them right where we want them," Bulluck said. "On Saturday, we'll lock the doors and we'll see what happens."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 7, 2009

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