"It's been kind of a freak year for us from the standpoint of tearing ACLs," coach Jeff Fisher said. "We hadn't had one since '95. We have five now. Hopefully, that's it."
Dyson tore two ligaments, including the ACL, in his left knee on Wednesday when he collided with a teammate while going for a deep pass. Doctors will repair his knee on Friday, but he now joins a growing injury list.
The Titans lost rookie receiver Lenny Ware during May workouts, cornerback Donald Mitchell and rookie safety Brandon McLemore during training camp and tight end Michael Roan in the season opener all to ACLs.
Now Dyson is on the list, the guy who led the Titans in receiving yards last season and had a team-high 104 yards this season.
Steve McNair, who is nursing his own bruised sternum and waiting to see if he will start Sunday at Pittsburgh, called Dyson's injury a big loss for the AFC champions.
"Dyson was coming into his own. He had I think over 100 yards (104) against Kansas City. He was improving. For that to happen to him, it's a bad situation," McNair said.
The Titans will miss Dyson. Fisher said Dyson was ready for a breakout season in his third year, especially after his six receptions for 104 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs.
"We were prepared to create things designed to get him the ball and do more things along the lines of what we did last week. We just have to shift gears," Fisher said.
With Yancey Thigpen now nursing a tight hamstring, the Titans have shuffled Chris Sanders into Dyson's slot across from Carl Pickens. Derrick Mason, who has yet to catch a pass this season, will back up Pickens, Sanders and Thigpen in addition to returning punts and kickoffs.
Sanders is speedy but caught just 25 passes the past two seasons. But he spent the offseason working hard at running more precise routes and dealing with physical defensive backs. He also took a $400,000 pay cut at the start othe season.
This situation is why general manager Floyd Reese and Fisher have six receivers on the roster and jumped at the chance to sign Pickens in July, Sanders said.
"We've got the depth at receiver, so this is the time that we can use it," Sanders said.
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