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Notebook: Reserve O-Lineman Otto Prepared if Called Upon

Posted Nov 25, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Reps on the scout team benefit players on both sides of the ball, reserve offensive tackle Mike Otto said Friday.

Otto, who is in his fourth season, usually lines up against Tennessee’s first-team defense and tries to best prepare Titans starters for what they will see the following game. He said those snaps helped his readiness last Sunday against Atlanta when right tackle David Stewart went down with a calf injury.

“You get plenty of reps on the scout team and that’s against your No. 1 defense, so you try to apply our rules when you’re going against our defense,” Otto said. “You have to work and get better that way.”

The stability of Stewart, who has missed just three games the past six seasons, and left tackle Michael Roos, who has started all 106 games of his seven-year career, has limited game opportunities for Otto at either post.

Stewart missed practice Wednesday and Thursday but did some work Friday. Roos, who played through a groin injury against the Falcons, missed practice Wednesday but returned to action Thursday and Friday. Stewart and Roos are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.

Titans coach Mike Munchak said Otto did a solid job against Atlanta, and the team has confidence in him if needed against the Buccaneers.

“He did a nice job,” Munchak said. “It’s tough coming in when you haven’t played football since August. In a hostile environment, where you’re passing every down and you’re playing against good football players. He’s a good football player. He’s done a good job since his rookie year for us.”

Otto said in addition to the reps in practice, he’s also put in the mental work each week.

“As a backup, that’s what you work for — to be prepared for any situation if you have to go in,” Otto said. “I saw Dave go down to a knee, and knew I had to go in there and play. Everything went pretty well. (Right guard) Jake Scott was helping me out and making sure we were on the same page. Then, it was just playing football.”

RUUD OUT AGAINST FORMER TEAM: Linebacker Barrett Ruud (groin) will be out for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, the team that he played for the past six seasons. Munchak said Ruud will help the Titans from the sidelines.

“I think he’s been talking about these guys about what they like to do,” Munchak said. “It’s disappointing for him, obviously, I’m sure he circled this one on his calendar. You always want to play well against a team you grew up with. He’ll be helpful on the sidelines.”

Rookie Colin McCarthy filled in for Ruud at Carolina and replaced him at Atlanta after the NFL veteran re-injured his groin. McCarthy has been productive, recording 22 tackles and forcing a fumble late against Atlanta, despite playing through an injured knee. Munchak said McCarthy is questionable on the official injury report.

OTHER INJURIES: Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (arm) practiced fully Friday and is probable, kicker Rob Bironas (back) and center Eugene Amano (hip) are probable. Defensive end Derrick Morgan (ankle) and defensive tackle Karl Klug (knee) are both questionable.

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