It should come as no surprise to football fans that quarterback Vince Young was put on injured reserve Monday by the Tennessee Titans. Young punched his ticket out of town the moment he hurled his shoulder pads into the stands and stormed out of the locker room Sunday afternoon.
This parting of the ways was a long time coming. Thumb injury that Young sustained in a 19-16 loss to the Washington Redskins was just a convenient way to make it happen.
Young is probably through in Tennessee, in more ways than one. He’ll need surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon, ending his season, and if Fisher has his way, it’s probable that Young’s career in Nashville is kaput as well.
“My focus is no longer on Vince Young,” Fisher said, according to the Tennessean. “My focus is moving forward with this team.”
The last straw was Young’s behavior after the Titans’ overtime loss to the Redskins, which included a reported heated locker room exchange between Fisher and Young. Earlier, after hearing boos following a missed on a third-and-1 play, Young responded to the home crowd by gesturing with his hands toward his helmet’s ear holes. At the end of the game, he threw his pads into the crowd.
We may never know exactly what Fisher said to the team or to Young, but the Tennessean reported that the quarterback stormed out of the locker room and was seen walking toward the players’ parking lot at LP Field. Safety Michael Griffin chased after his teammate hoping to coax him back, but Young was resolute.
“I am very disappointed,” Fisher said of Young’s behavior. “I think his teammates are disappointed. You know, there is going to be frustration in losses. … There are times when you have to dig deep and fight and turn to one another. I don’t think you run, and so I am disappointed.”
What may be especially upsetting to Fisher is that he has stood by his player in the past when Young has succumbed to emotional swings. But things haven’t been right since 2008 when Young refused to re-enter the season opener, and last year, Fisher wanted to keep Kerry Collin under center despite an 0-5 start. Owner Bud Adams forced the switch to Young, who rallied the team to an 8-8 finish.
In the end, it may come down Adams again. He talked to both men and told them, according to the Tennessean, to “get this thing settled.”
If Fisher wants to rid himself of Young, it might not be so easy. Adams indicated he has no intention of releasing the player, who is due to make $8.5 million next season.
“He is under contract,” Adams said. “We are going to pay him a lot of money.”
Fisher may have something to say about that. And Adams ultimately may have to choose between his player and his coach.