Torn knee ligaments likely to KO Sirmon

Updated: August 3, 2004, 7:18 PM ET
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans linebacker Peter Sirmon probably will miss the season with torn ligaments in his left knee.

Peter Sirmon
Tennessee Titans
Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
86 66 20 1 0 0

Sirmon twisted the knee Monday in limited contact drills during the Titans' first practice in full pads.

"It felt like something was definitely wrong when I first did it," he said. "It felt like my knee kind of came apart."

Sirmon limped off the field and team trainers iced the knee, but no one initially believed the injury was very serious. An MRI on Tuesday revealed torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.

"We suspected Monday night that there was going to be an MCL sprain, but he had a great deal of swelling this morning," coach Jeff Fisher said. "In Dr. Burton Elrod's estimation, there is still some fiber connecting the joint. But in all likelihood, Pete will require reconstructive surgery."

His anterior cruciate ligament is not completely torn, but Sirmon would risk a complete tear if he plays on it without surgery.

He will seek a second opinion Monday from noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Even though his season is most probably over, Sirmon said the injury could have been worse.

"I feel pretty fortunate, because the meniscus seems to be all right," he said. "If you start having tears in that, then you get bone-on-bone and you get problems with arthritis and things like that."

Sirmon, selected by Tennessee in the fourth round of the 2000 Draft, is a two-year starter at linebacker and had 86 tackles last season. He signed a four-year, $12 million extension before the 2003 season.

"It's a difficult loss for our defense," Fisher said. "Pete had a great offseason. He's coming off two great years and was really looking forward to this. He was emerging as one of our leaders."

With Sirmon out, third-year player Rocky Boiman will step into his starting position and middle linebacker Rocky Calmus will take over Sirmon's duties in the nickel package.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press