The Tennessee Titans had declared their starting center position open in training camp, but the door has closed on last year's starter, Eugene Amano.
The Titans confirmed that Amano, who was injured Thursday night, will need surgery for a torn triceps and will miss the entire season. That means that Fernando Velasco, who has played center the past couple of days, will battle Kevin Matthews, currently sidelined with a mild concussion, to be Tennessee's starting center.
“Fernando has taken reps the last couple of days, and we've talked about him going in this second week anyway and it worked out that way,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said via TitanInsider. “We're confident in him. Kevin Matthews will probably be back on Wednesday.
“They're guys I have confidence in. Fernando has started a few games for us at center, and Kevin has started one. That's who we'll be working with now.”
Velasco and Matthews are both former undrafted free agents.
“Being a backup guy, I always prepared like I was a starter anyway. I hate it for Eugene, but it's time for me to step up,” Velasco said.
The move also means that Leroy Harris has solidified his hold on the right guard position, where he and Velasco had been battling prior to Amano's injury forcing Velasco to shift to the middle.
UPDATE: The Titans have added depth to help offset the loss of Amano, signing former Raiders and Panthers center/guard Chris Morris.
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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com