Titans linebacker Gerald McRath was hoping to use this year as a springboard to a new contract.
Instead, his season is over before it began.
Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean reports that McRath could no longer play through the soreness in his left knee, and will have season-ending surgery to repair a partially torn patella tendon.
“It comes to pain tolerance in a sense, what you are willing to take,’’ McRath said. “At first it wasn’t really that bad, it was something I could get through. I wanted to be at my best, but I couldn’t. . . .
“It is one of those things where it was not a decision at all. . . . I still have a positive mindset.”
The 2009 fourth-round pick lost his starting job to rookie Akeem Ayers last year, but had started 12 games for the Titans.
He had played in the preseason, but said playing on “hard” fields in the Titans’ joint practices with Atlanta aggravated the condition.
“It was no particular act, it was just the act of playing football and being on the ground and the change of direction with people pushing on you, and I think it finally caught up with him,’’ Titans coach Mike Munchak said.
“It is very disappointing for him. He has worked hard this offseason. It just got to the point where he felt it wasn’t getting better and he opted to go forward, which he is doing.”
His rookie deal expires this season, so he’ll recover on the Titans dime, and then likely move on, since he wasn’t considered a lock to make the roster this year.