Titans will use bye to rest Young's ankle; Britt could miss time

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Coach Jeff Fisher says Vince Young will have a chance to practice once the Titans return from their bye, even though the quarterback left San Diego in a walking boot.

The week off won't be enough time to get Kenny Britt back.

The receiver hurt his right hamstring on the Titans' second drive in a 33-25 loss at San Diego, and Fisher said Monday that Britt will miss some time. The Titans don't know how much yet because Britt is still having tests on his leg, though Fisher said he would tell reporters if the injury was bad enough to end Britt's season.

It's a good thing the bye has arrived for the Titans (5-3).

The focus this week will be on rest and healing, especially for a defense that has been on the field longer than any other except Arizona's. The Titans will also try to figure out how to hold onto the ball longer offensively. Tennessee ranks 31st in the NFL in time of possession, holding the ball for a mere 26 minutes, 55 seconds.

"It's very unusual for our time to have such a discrepancy in time of possession," Fisher said.

"We're also going to have a nice rest, we need to rest. Our defense is a little tired. We've played a lot of snaps, and we've played five of the top 10 offenses so far this year, so we need to rest, in particular our defensive front."

The Titans blew their half-game lead in the AFC South with the loss to San Diego, their first road loss this season which also snapped a three-game winning streak. They failed to protect a 19-7 lead by holding onto the ball a season-low 22:13.

Fisher defended the offense, noting the Titans have been scoring quickly. Young found Nate Washington on a 71-yard TD early in the fourth quarter for a one-play scoring drive. Another drive lasted three plays with Chris Johnson's 29-yard TD run putting the Titans up 19-7 in the second quarter.

That just means the defense is back on the field again, and a unit that had been among the NFL's best in third-down efficiency now can't get off the field. The Titans have allowed opponents to convert 22 of 36 third downs in the past two games.

Tennessee went three-and-out five times against the Chargers with three of those coming after Johnson's TD-run in the first half. In the third quarter, the Titans had the ball just 4:12 as they went three-and-out, four plays and three-and-out with three punts on the three possessions.

"We had a lot of plays we left out there on the field," Johnson said after the loss. "A lot of things we could've did different. We just didn't make the plays when we had the opportunity, and they made the plays."

The Titans still had a chance to try and tie the game at the end even after Young had to be helped off the field after throwing for 253 yards and two TDs. But Johnson dropped a pass on fourth-and-2 to end their last hope.

The run game also will be a focus this bye week. Nobody has run the ball more than Johnson, who is the NFL's second-leading rusher with 721 yards. Defenses keep targeting him, and Johnson appears to have been slowed by a sore thigh that has had him on the injury report the past three weeks.

Fisher said they will look extensively at what they're doing to see if they can do anything better.

Still, the Titans reach this bye at 5-3, a huge improvement from the 0-6 mark they had at their bye a year ago. The loss in San Diego blew their brief lead in the AFC South, and all three of their losses have come to AFC teams, which could be a tiebreaker come late December.

Tennessee has five division games left starting Nov. 28, and Johnson said he feels the Titans are in a good situation at 5-3. Right guard Leroy Harris agrees.

"There's still a lot of work to do the next eight games, and we look forward to them," Harris said.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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