Tennessee Titans’ Gerald McRath Has Torn Patella Tendon, to Miss 2012 NFL Season: Local Fan’s Take

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The Tennessee Titans have officially announced that linebacker Gerald McRath will miss the 2012-13 NFL season following knee surgery. McRath suffered a partially torn patella tendon in his left knee. He aggravated that injury during an August scrimmage against the Atlanta Falcons. McRath is confident that he'll have a speedy recovery and that he'll return in 2013.

The Titans drafted McRath in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. McRath had appeared in 40 games, 12 of which were starts. Through three seasons, McRath has 120 tackles with four pass deflections, 1.5 sacks and an interception. He had 15 tackles with one pass deflection in 2011.

McRath's career has gone downhill ever since he was suspended for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy in 2010. The Titans have drafted outside linebackers during the second round in each of the past two NFL drafts. McRath was reduced to a role as the nickel linebacker after Akeem Ayers and Will Witherspoon were named as the starters in 2011. Zach Brown was expected to be used in nickel defenses in 2012.

McRath wouldn't have been guaranteed a roster spot. The Titans entered the preseason with at least four linebackers who were higher on the depth chart. Those linebackers include Colin McCarthy, Witherspoon, Ayers and Brown. Patrick Bailey and Tim Shaw would likely make the team because of their special-teams contributions. Zac Diles has also made some plays this preseason.

McRath will be a 27-year-old free agent in 2013. Don't be surprised if he is re-signed. That's because Witherspoon will turn 33-years-old next August. Depth wise, the Titans may want to keep at least one veteran linebacker who has experience with the system. McRath would be a cheap signing. The Titans could always release him if he performed poorly in 2013 training camp.

The Titans will also be without reserve offensive lineman Mike Otto for approximately three weeks after he had surgery to repair a dislocated ring finger. Otto may not be available for the regular-season opener against the New England Patriots on September 9. That shouldn't be a concern unless another starting offensive lineman goes down.

Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.

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