Succop to IR; replacement has done it before

David Boclair

Ryan Succop says he has not experienced a setback in his recovery from offseason knee surgery.

It is possible, though, that he might start to experience flashbacks when it comes to his job security.

The Titans placed Succop on injured reserve Wednesday and signed Cairo Santos to fill his spot. The move came days before Sunday’s season-opener at Cleveland.

Succop does not believe his situation is season-ending. He decided that he has not recovered the full explosiveness in his kicking leg that he believes he is necessary to do the job.

Injured reserve requires a player to miss at least eight weeks. He expects he will return to the active roster sometime after that."

"I think my knee is doing pretty well," Succop said. "I don't quite have that pop back in my leg that I need. Sometimes when you have some swelling for a while it just takes a little bit longer for that to come back. It's progressing well. It's just not where it needs to be yet.

"It just ... wouldn't be fair to the team for me to go out there right now and try to kick because I know I can't do it right now the way that I need to."

Five years ago, Santos took Succop’s job at Kansas City following a training camp competition, which led to the latter’s move to Tennessee. The Titans signed Succop as a free agent in 2014, three days after the Chiefs released him, and he has been the team’s sole placekicker for the past five seasons. He also spent five full seasons with the Chiefs before Santos’ arrival.

Between the two teams, Succop has appeared in 160 straight games entering this season, which is the second-longest active streak for players at his position. That streak ends Sunday.

Undrafted out of Tulane, Santos spent three-plus seasons as Kansas City’s kicker and since has spent time with three other franchises, Chicago, Tampa Bay and the L.A. Rams. He has made 83.2 percent of his field goal attempts (104 of 125) and three times has produced more than 110 points in a season.

"I'll do everything I can to help Cairo jump in here and be ready to rock 'n' roll. Cairo is a really good kicker, and I think he'll do a good job for us."

Succop started training camp on the physically unable to perform list but was added to the active roster prior to the third preseason game. He was 4-for-4 on field goals and 1-for-2 on extra points in his two preseason appearances and appeared ready for the regular season.

He currently ranks as the Titans’ leader in career field goal percentage at 86.6 (116-for-134) and is fifth in career scoring with 502 points. With a typical performance, he would have moved to third by the end of this season.

Instead, it would be natural for him to wonder if he soon will be moving on.

"I know this is just a little bump in the road, a little adversity," Succop said. "I'll work through it and come back better and stronger."

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