Tennessee Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt said on his radio show this afternoon that Chris Hope has been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury and has been placed on Injured Reserve.
“After numerous studies and opinions, Chris Hope’s season is over,” said coach Jeff Fisher. “The doctors don’t feel it is safe for him to finish the season. It is not a career-ending injury by any means. We are going to continue to evaluate it. He may heal up as a result of rest, and we have not ruled out surgery as a possibility.”
Hope has been the best safety for the Titans since he joined the team a year ago. He was obviously much better than Lamont Thompson, Calvin Lowry and Michael Griffin. Hope will be sorely missed. He’s the leader of the entire secondary, both on the field and off.
If I had to use just one word to describe him, it would probably be dependable.
In the short-term, Hope will be especially missed against the Chargers, since he would have had coverage responsibility on Antonio Gates for much of the game. On the other hand, he wasn’t expected to play this week anyway.
Although he’ll be missed, I’m glad the Titans aren’t taking any chances with him. If rest is indeed the cure, then I’ll be happy to see it happen. Better that than spinal surgery, which can be delicate and tricky.
Still, I have concerns about his career. There’s a big difference between being medically cleared to play and being able to play effectively. Jevon Kearse, Tank Williams and Peter Sirmon are good examples of players who weren’t the same after returning from serious injuries.
Lowry will replace Hope, as he did last week. Can Lowry do the job? Yes. Will he make more mistakes? Yes. But he’s the best answer to an unfortunate situation and I’d like to see him succeed.
WR Biren Ealy was promoted from the practice squad to take Hope’s roster spot.