Things could have been worse for Kenny Britt on Sunday.
At least folks cheered in the second quarter when he hopped to his feet and trotted off the field moments after it looked as if he had been seriously hurt.
Other than that, Sunday’s 20-17 victory over San Diego was utterly forgettable for the Tennessee Titans wide receiver. Five days after he caused a stir when he said on Twitter he felt the team had no intent to bring him back next season, he did little to make anyone want him to stay.
Particularly notable was the fact that the man who presumably is the Titans’ best wide receiver was on the sideline while every other wide receiver on the roster caught a pass during the game-winning, 10-play, 94-yard drive. Justin Hunter’s leaping 34-yard touchdown reception with 15 seconds to play came after Kendall Wright had caught two passes and Damian Williams, Nate Washington and Michael Preston all had caught one.
“It was definitely a frustrating game for me, I’m kind of mad about how it started and how it ended,” Britt said.
Unlike earlier in the week, though, his disappointment was in himself and not his coaches.
Also to his credit, Britt did not sulk. He sought out Hunter on the sideline amid all the hoopla, grabbed the rookie’s facemask and offered congratulations of his own moments after the touchdown. The two hugged again immediately after the Chargers’ last-ditch effort to create a memorable ending failed.
“Kenny’s extremely happy for his team winning the game,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “He’s obviously down because of his performance. But Kenny’s a team player. He’s not a selfish guy. He came and celebrated with Justin and Jake [Locker] and the rest of his teammates. He understands that we expect more from him and he needs to be better.”
Tennessee’s first offensive play was a throw to Britt – and he dropped it, which prompted a chorus of boos from the stands. Less than a minute later he turned a third-and-10 into a third-and-15 with a false start penalty. More boos.
“The drop and the penalty in the beginning – that first series was definitely all on me,” he said. “I take full blame for that because we could have had a great start.”
When all was said and done, five passes had been thrown his way – as many as Hunter Williams and Preston combined – yet he had no receptions. Also, a block in the back penalty called against him negated most of a 25-yard reception by Wright.
The last time Britt finished without a catch was Oct. 31, 2010 at – coincidentally – San Diego. In that one, though, he sustained a significant groin injury in the opening minutes and missed the next four games.
It seemed like he would not make it through this one either when, with 7:48 to play in the second quarter, he leaped for quarterback Locker’s throw, was hit in the air and landed in a way that caused many in the sellout crowd to gasp.
“Oh man, that kind of hurt,” he said. “I wasn’t unconscious. I just couldn’t feel my left shoulder for a second or two. And then I felt a little pop in my lower rib.”
As he watched Hunter and the rest of the receivers do their thing on the final drive, he probably felt a kick in the pants.
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