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Rookie Linebacker Placed on Injured Reserve

Monty Rice's role on defense has increased in recent weeks as injuries sidelined veterans ahead of him on the depth chart.

NASHVILLE – There is no game on Sunday, but it is business as usual for the Tennessee Titans so far this week.

In other words, they have added another player to their injured reserve list. During their bye week.

Rookie inside linebacker Monty Rice will miss at least the next three weeks after he was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. The third-round pick out of Georgia played just 19 snaps on defense and one on special teams before he left Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots with an ankle injury.

The Titans now have 18 players on injured reserve, including half of their 2021 draft class. Rice joins cornerback Caleb Farley (first round), outside linebacker Rashad Weaver (fourth round) and wide receiver Racey McMath (sixth round) on that list. Farley and Weaver have season-ending injuries.

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Rice played 10 of the first 12 games and started four of the last five as injuries have become an increasing issue at inside linebacker. Rashaan Evans has missed the last five games, David Long has missed the last three, and Jayon Brown missed four straight in October.

Rice has been credited with 30 tackles on defense and six on special teams, which was his primary role through the first four weeks.

“I think he started to build some confidence (on special teams,” coach Mike Vrabel said recently. “Then he made some tackles on kickoff and really started to build some confidence there. Got an opportunity to play linebacker. … He is continuing to improve and hopefully we can start to really see some more progress and string a couple weeks together.”

The earliest they will see him in action again is Week 17 against the Miami Dolphins, which will be Tennessee’s final home game.