NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans coach Mike Munchak announced Monday that star wide receiver Kenny Britt tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee and will need season-ending surgery once the swelling subsides.
Munchak called it unfortunate news for Britt and the Titans.
"He was off to a great start this year as we all know, and he's a special player," Munchak said. "He's got a lot of work ahead of him. But he's young. We know that he'll be back next year."
The news couldn't come at a worse time for the Titans (2-1), who are tied with the Houston Texans atop the AFC South after a two-game winning streak. The injury leaves Tennessee with four receivers, and team officials already are looking for someone to fill Britt's roster spot. Munchak said they would work out receivers Tuesday and should have a player added by practice Wednesday.
Munchak wouldn't rule anything out, but he said he doesn't see Terrell Owens, who remains unsigned as he recovers from his own torn ACL, or Randy Moss, who retired after finishing up last season in Tennessee, as options. Justin Gage, an eight-year veteran, spent the past four seasons with the Titans before he was released in the final roster cut Sept. 3.
Replacing Britt will not be easy. The 2009 first-round draft pick out of Rutgers was off to the best start of his career, entering Week 3 ranked fifth in the NFL with 289 receiving yards. He was injured when his knee buckled underneath him during the second quarter of Sunday's 17-14 victory over the Denver Broncos.
"Personally from the day I got here, he was one of the guys that I really tried to invest a lot of my time and energy into," said quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who joined the Titans in the offseason. "He's probably the most talented player on this team at any position, and he could be really special. I think he's showed glimpses of that, and he was really on fire and off to a great start. So for me, all that work, all that investment is going to have to wait."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press