Derrick Morgan was expected to be the answer to the Tennessee Titans pass rush problems a year ago when the team made him the 16th overall pick in the 2010 draft.
That plan seemed to be working until Morgan tore the ACL in his left knee in the fourth game of his rookie season, sidelining him for the rest of the year.
Morgan received clearance to return from the injury just as the lockout ended, and he was playing regularly until he felt pain in the knee again in a preseason contest in St. Louis in mid-August.
Morgan had not practiced since then, and even underwent an arthroscopic procedure in the left knee a couple of weeks ago to remove a stitch in his surgically repaired meniscus that was causing him the new pain.
Now, Morgan tells TitanInsider.com that he is ready to go this week against the Baltimore Ravens and doesn’t listen to the whispers that he might be a first-round bust because of his injury.
“Calling me a bust? I don’t really pay attention to that. I’m doing everything in my control to be out there on the field,” Morgan said. “Sometimes injuries happen. It’s unfortunate, but in the same breath, it’s nothing that’s too serious. It’s one game (in 2011). I’m praying that everything is behind me and I’m confident that it is. Everybody is a critic.”
In his defense, Morgan did have 1.5 sacks in the three games before his ACL tear last year. Now it is up to him to be productive and healthy and put those questions to rest.