Titans OLB Harold Landry Tears ACL

SEPTEMBER 2: The Titans placed Landry on IR Friday and claimed Derrek Tuszka off waivers from the Steelers. A former Broncos seventh-round pick in 2020, Tuszka spent last season with the Steelers. He worked as a backup and notched two sacks in his Pittsburgh debut. The Steelers, who since traded for frequent Broncos fill-in starter Malik Reed this week, waived Tuszka on Thursday.

SEPTEMBER 1: Months after re-signing with the Titans, Harold Landry does not look like he will suit up for the team this season. The veteran edge rusher went down with a torn ACL in practice, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Landry sustained the injury Wednesday. This is obviously a crushing blow for the Titans, who have relied on Landry as their top outside linebacker for years.

Tennessee has gone through extensive efforts to fortify its edge-rushing corps under GM Jon Robinson, but several of the moves have not worked out. Landry, however, has helped the team get by. After putting together a strong contract year (12 sacks, 22 QB hits) — one that finished with the Boston College product recording 1.5 of the Titans’ nine sacks of Joe Burrow in their divisional-round loss — Landry signed a five-year, $87.5MM extension in March.

Both of the Titans’ top outside ‘backers have now sustained ACL tears as pros. Bud Dupree, who signed with Tennessee on a five-year deal worth $82.5MM in March 2021, was coming off a late-season ACL setback when he arrived in Nashville. Wednesday’s development hijacks the Titans’ plans to pair Landry with what could be a better Dupree version this season.

This 11th-hour injury certainly illustrates the importance of guaranteed money. The Titans passed on franchise-tagging Landry but managed to hammer out a deal with the former second-round pick to keep him off the market. Landry, 26, received $35.25MM guaranteed at signing.

Chosen 41st overall in 2018, Landry has 31 career sacks and is coming off his first Pro Bowl. He has helped the Titans withstand the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, Vic Beasley and Cameron Wake being free agency disappointments over the past three seasons. Dupree, 29, also has yet to deliver on the contract he signed, recording just three sacks and eight QB hits in his first season post-ACL tear. The Kentucky alum also missed six games, despite starting the season on time after his rehab effort. The team will need more from the former first-round Steelers draftee this season.

This has not been the smoothest Titans offseason. The team said goodbye to its top wide receiver — A.J. Brown — after early extension talks revealed a substantial gap between the parties, and first-round wideout Treylon Burks has not proven to be a plug-and-play replacement. Of course, it is still early for the Arkansas product. But, with Robert Woods coming off a November ACL tear, Burks’ readiness is fairly important for a Titans team that survived a spate of injuries to book the AFC’s No. 1 seed last season.

The Titans are also thin on edge defenders beyond their starters, rostering 2021 fourth-rounder Rashad Weaver (12 defensive snaps last season) and former UDFA Ola Adeniyi (2.5 sacks in 2021 as a rotational cog) as backups. Several veteran edges — from Melvin Ingram to Justin Houston to Carlos Dunlap to Trey Flowers — came off the free agency board over the past several weeks. Jason Pierre-Paul remains available, as does Everson Griffen. JPP is coming off a down season, however, and Griffen is 34. Ex-Beasley Falcons teammate Takk McKinley, 26, is available as well. The former first-rounder took multiple visits this summer, but he is coming off a late-season Achilles tear.

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