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Fisher: Young welcome at Titans' facility, just not team meeting

  • By Associated Press
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans coach Jeff Fisher said though he had an assistant tell Vince Young not to attend a team meeting, the quarterback hasn't been banned from headquarters.

"I went to look for Vince in the locker room prior to a team meeting, couldn't find him. I had one of my assistants inform Vince he was not welcome in the team meeting for obvious reasons," Fisher said Tuesday night on his weekly radio show. "I discussed the situation that happened the night before (at the meeting)."

Young's teammates witnessed a heated exchange between the quarterback and coach in the locker room after Sunday's overtime loss to the Washington Redskins. Young, who had tossed his pads into the stands when leaving the field, then stormed out of the stadium.

Fisher said what happens in the locker room after a game is supposed to be confidential.

"We had an incident in the locker room, and it was very unfortunate. It's been well-documented," Fisher said. "As a result of not only the incident in the locker room but also more importantly the injury to Vince's thumb, Vince is not going to play anymore this season."

The quarterback needs season-ending surgery, and Fisher said that involves inserting a pin in the thumb to help the flexor tendon heal.

But Young's situation is more complicated than the injury.

The Titans placed Young on injured reserve Tuesday even as media reports surfaced that the quarterback wasn't welcome at the team's headquarters and had been told to leave. The team issued a statement a couple hours after the first report, saying Young had been told not to attend the team meeting and was free to leave.

Fisher said Young is on injured reserve and that such players are permitted in the building. Players on injured reserve work with team trainers on their rehabilitation.

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"There's been speculation he was banned from the building. That was not correct," said Fisher, who added that he wouldn't address Young's situation again after Tuesday night.

Young couldn't be immediately reached Tuesday, nor could his agent, Tom Condon, who was traveling and unavailable.

The statement Tuesday called the first report by The Tennessean "incorrect." The newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said Young was in the training room Monday when quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains asked him to leave the facility and told him he wasn't wanted in the building after what happened Sunday. The newspaper said Young left without incident.

The Titans can't ban Young from team property, not with his contract running through 2011.

The Titans learned that lesson in 2006 when then-quarterback Steve McNair won a grievance after an arbitrator ruled his contract had been breached when the team barred him from working out at the facility. Titans officials had worried about being on the hook for a $23.4 million salary-cap hit if McNair was hurt.

Complicating the Young situation even more is that while his relationship with Fisher seems likely beyond repair at this point, Titans owner Bud Adams told The Tennessean on Monday that he wants his quarterback and coach to work together.

But Fisher had said Young wouldn't start Sunday against the Houston Texans even if healthy after his latest meltdown. Fisher hasn't talked to Young since the quarterback left the stadium. He called Young's agent to pass on the news that his season was being ended by being placed on injured reserve. It doesn't sound as if Fisher is in a hurry to speak to Young either, not with seven games remaining and the Titans (5-5) just one game out of the AFC South lead.

The coach said Monday the issue of whether or not Young will ever play for him again will be dealt with when the season's over.

"I think there will be a conversation at some point. I'm not going to put a timetable on it. He's on injured reserve, and we're moving on," Fisher said.

Notes: The Titans officially signed Chris Simms on Tuesday to back up rookie quarterback Rusty Smith, who will start against the Texans. ... The Titans also activated LB David Thornton, who spent the first part of the season on the physically unable to perform list, and waived G Ryan Durand.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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