Titans' Hope has neck surgery, should be OK for 2008 season

Updated: January 19, 2008, 5:21 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Tennessee Titans starting free safety Chris Hope, who missed five games in 2007 and finished the season on injured reserve, has undergone neck surgery to address the spinal cord injury that knocked him out of action.

It is not yet known if or when Hope will be able to participate in the Titans' offseason program, which begins in March. The club remains optimistic that Hope will be able to play in 2008.

Chris Hope

Hope

"He'll be 100 percent," agent Terry Williams told The [Nashville] Tennessean. "It was the best move for him. He'll be back and ready to go when opening day comes."

Hope, 27, was injured in a 35-6 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 25. He was placed on injured reserve shortly after that and doctors hoped that rest and non-surgical rehabilitation would resolve his problems. It was eventually decided, though, that surgery was the best option to assure Hope would not experience long-term effects from the injury.

Regarded by some league observers as the most indispensable member of the young Tennessee secondary, Hope appeared in 11 games in 2007, all of them as a starter, and registered 49 tackles, two interceptions and three passes defensed.

A former Florida State standout, Hope was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 2002 draft. He played four seasons for the Steelers (2002-2005), and was a starter on the Super Bowl XL championship team, but then signed a six-year, $30 million contract with the Titans as an unrestricted free agent in 2006.

For his career, Hope has 407 tackles, 11 interceptions, 18 passes defensed, and two forced fumbles. He has appeared in 89 games, and started in 59 of those contests.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com

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