NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 18, 2005) -- Tennessee running back Chris Brown fractured his right hand during minicamp, an injury that will keep him out of the remaining May workouts but should allow him to be ready for training camp in late July.
"I guess he was running and hit somebody's helmet with the back of his hand," coach Jeff Fisher said.
It's the latest injury for a running back who has shown flashes he could among the best in the league since being drafted in the third round in 2003.
Brown strained his left hamstring in his first training camp, and was limited to 11 games. He became the Titans' starter when Eddie George asked to be released last July after declining a pay cut.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Brown became only the second running back in NFL history to rush for 100 or more yards in each of his first three starts, and he finished 2004 with 4.85 yards per carry, the highest figure among running backs with at least 200 carries.
He finished with 1,067 yards on 220 carries, but was limited by a sprained ankle in the opener, then turf toe that kept him out of five of the last seven games.
"The main thing is I've got to stay healthy the whole season. If I prove I can do that, I'll be all right," Brown said before hurting his hand.
"I didn't finish last season, and then you have my rookie year, so it's always ... there. People are always going to have something to say about it. But I try not to think about it. I just go out there and worry about getting the job done."
That's why George, currently hoping to extend his nine-year career, met with Titans general manager Floyd Reese on May 3 to explore the team's interest in bringing him in as a backup to Brown. Reese also talked with Buffalo during and after the 2005 NFL Draft to determine what the Bills want for the disgruntled Travis Henry.
Brown said George returning would be a great thing for the Titans with his leadership and work ethic. Henry was a different matter.
"That's what they do in the front office. They do what's best for the team, and you always need a good guy to come in as a backup role," Brown said.
The Titans drafted running back Damien Nash from Missouri in the fifth round. They also brought in a handful of undrafted backs including Walter Reyes, a cousin of Maurice Clarett's who rushed for 3,424 yards at Syracuse.
The Associated Press News Service
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