Eugene Amano's Season-Ending Injury Could Mean the End of His Time in Tennessee
Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
The Associated Press confirmed today that he suffered a torn triceps muscle in training camp, and will miss the entire season because of it (via ESPN). Even worse for Amano is that this could spell the end of his tenure with the Titans.
Amano has struggled the past two seasons, both in run blocking and pass protection, and wasn't even guaranteed the starting spot at center. Fernando Velasco and Kevin Matthews, the son of Hall of Famer and Oilers/Titans great Bruce Matthews, were breathing down his neck.
Mawae hasn't done terribly in his eight seasons with the Titans, especially considering the fact that he was drafted in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL draft. Most seventh-round draft picks don't even make it through their rookie season, let alone eight seasons. He came into the Titans starting lineup in 2008 as a left guard, playing next to future Hall of Famer Kevin Mawae. Amano held his own, and helped lead Chris Johnson to a 2000-yard rushing season.
When Mawae retired in 2009, Amano was moved back to his original center position, and has struggled ever since. The Titans running game just has not been the same, and although Amano is not the only reason for it, with LeRoy Harris being even worse at the left guard position and Chris Johnson having his holdout issue last season, he is still somewhat of a catalyst behind the Titans' struggles.
Amano's last chance may have been this preseason, where his starting position was in question. With this injury, Amano could end up being all but expendable, especially if Velasco or Matthews can excel at the center position.
As amazing as it was for a former seventh-round draft pick to earn a starting job and keep it for four seasons, Amano's time in Tennessee is more than likely over at this point.
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