The Tennessee Titans placed kicker Ryan Succop on injured reserve Wednesday morning and will be signing kicker Cairo Santos to replace him.
Succop began training camp this year on the physically unable to perform list while dealing with an off-season knee procedure. He was activated from the PUP before the preseason game with Pittsburgh and kicked in the Titans’ final two tune-up games, handling both place-kicks and kickoffs.
Succop said Wednesday that he wasn’t quite where he needed to be in order to be the Titans’ kicker right now.
“I wouldn’t really say it’s a setback. I just really don’t have that pop back in my leg that I need. Sometimes when you have some swelling for a period of time, it takes a little longer for it to come back,” Succop said. “It’s progressing well. It’s just not where it needs to be yet. It wouldn’t be fair to the team right now for me to try to go out there and kick, because I know I can’t do it right now the way that I need to.”
Succop, who turns 33 on Sept. 19, came to the Titans in 2014 after losing a training camp kicking battle ironically to Santos. The two have remained friends and stayed in touch over the years.
“Actually I reached out to Ryan. He’s a guy I admire not only as a player, but as a person. We’ve He stayed in touch with since we were out in Kansas City together. I was afraid it was something serious with his knee, but I was hoping it wouldn’t be,” Santos said.
In five years with the Titans, Succop has never missed a game and has been a reliable performer, hitting 116 of 134 field goals overall for an 86.6 conversion rate. He also set an NFL record during that span by making 56 straight field goals from inside 50 yards.
Succop was initially drafted with the last pick of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Chiefs out of South Carolina, making him “Mr. Irrelevant.” He would be eligible for recall from injured reserve if he is healthy enough to return after eight weeks.
While Succop hopes to return for the second half of the season, Santos said he hopes to be a capable replacement for however long he is here.
“I’m only here to make every single kick and worry about one game at a time. If it’s for eight games, or if it’s for the rest of the season, I’ll just worry about one game at a time,” he said.
Since beating out Succop in 2014, Santos has bounced around the NFL, spending three-plus seasons in Kansas City before being let go after three games in 2017.
Santos kicked in two games for the Chicago Bears that season and split last year between the Los Angeles Rams (two games) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (seven games). In his four-year NFL career, Santos has made 104 of 125 field goals with a career long of 53 yards.