Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 12/1/11
Derrick Morgan's nearly two seasons with the Tennessee Titans have been pockmarked by injuries, both of the serious variety and the nagging kind as well. Morgan lost all but four games of his rookie season when the first-round draft pick tore the ACL in his left knee last year against the Denver Broncos. Morgan made it back in time for the start of training camp once the lockout ended, but then needed an arthroscopic procedure on the same knee during preseason that cost him the start of the regular season. Since that time, Morgan has been able to play, and even been moved into a starting role a few weeks ago. But Morgan's play has been so-so as he has not made the usual impact one would want from a first-round pick. He has 24 tackles in 10 games played this season, but has just two sacks and two tackles for loss. Morgan sustained another nagging injury two weeks ago when he sprained his ankle against the Atlanta Falcons. He managed to return to the lineup last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but did not seem happy with his play in the game, and said he might have been better off sitting out and resting the injury rather than trying to push through the pain. "I'm trying to go out there and do what I can to make plays. I probably shouldn't have played last week," Morgan said. "It was more so that I was pushing through it, and as the game went on, my ankle wasn't doing good. But I've got high expectations for myself and I'm doing everything I can to exceed those expectations." Titans coach Mike Munchak said the Titans would not have put Morgan on the field if they believed he was not well enough to help them during the game. "We have high expectations, so if anyone is on the field, you don't take health into consideration. We are expecting a high level of play, otherwise we wouldn't have him on the field if we felt he was limited where he wouldn't help us win or that kind of thing," Munchak said. "We are expecting the most out of him. We are expecting him to make plays, that's why he is playing. "We know that sometimes guys work through injuries and that's why, especially on the defensive line, you rotate people, you give them a break so you can get the best out of them and have them fresh throughout the game. We will continue to do that and if he is not feeling good or injury becomes an issue, and then obviously, we wouldn't play him." Munchak said he appreciates that Morgan has tried to push through the pain and still help the team, and he believes that the defensive end should return to being his old self next year, another year removed from the knee injury. "Like we all know, he came into the season missing the first game, playing with the knee and working his way through that and then catching the ankle here the last couple of weeks. I know it's frustrating for him and it's hard to tell where he is at and he knows that," Munchak said. "He is not going to complain about it. I'm sure he is not as healthy and he would like to be. They say after the ACL the third year, which would be next year for him, would probably feel the most healthy but he is still doing some good things for us this year and we still expect a lot out of him these next five weeks."
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