NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Titans feared the worst when starting defensive end William Hayes injured his knee at camp.
However, they breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday after learning he might be ready for their season opener. Tests showed Hayes only has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee, welcome news on a team getting thin on the defensive line.
Hayes gingerly walked off the indoor practice field Tuesday with a trainer and doctor after getting hit on the outside of his knee during a drill. Hayes walked slowly into the locker room Wednesday with a brace on his right knee.
“Happy it's not an ACL,” Hayes said.
“I definitely thought it was probably going to be a little bit worse than it was, but it's not as bad as we thought. Everybody's happy around here. Just be out for a couple weeks and get back into it.”
Coach Jeff Fisher said the Titans were excited to hear the test results.
“When you have that kind of injury on the practice field and upon immediate examination your fear is you've got an ACL involved. So with a mild MCL sprain that'll keep him out for a couple weeks, it's good news,” Fisher said.
Hayes, entering his third year, started 11 games last season. He is the latest defensive lineman beset by injury.
Hayes was a fourth-round pick in 2008 out of Winston-Salem State, but he played in all 16 games in 2009 with four sacks, five tackles for loss and 82 total tackles. Hayes has worked with the first-team line opposite Ford in training camp.
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