Thursday, January 24, 2008
Unable to play since November 2006, Givens has third surgery on knee
By Len Pasquarelli
Wide receiver David Givens, who has appeared in only five games for the Tennessee Titans since signing a lucrative contract as a free agent in 2006, has undergone a third surgery to address a left knee injury suffered 14 months ago.
The latest procedure raises further doubts about whether he will ever play again.
The surgery was first reported by The Tennessean of Nashville and confirmed by team officials.
Givens, 27, suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of a Nov. 12, 2006 game against the Baltimore Ravens, and he has not played since. The injury occurred on a running play, as Givens planted his left leg to block, and resulted in a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He also suffered damage to the meniscus cartilage in his knee.
The knee injury is the culmination of an incredible stretch of physical setbacks for Givens, who signed a five-year, $24 million contract with the Titans as an unrestricted free agent in the spring of 2006, after having spent the first four seasons of his career with the New England Patriots. The contract included an $8 million signing bonus.
Givens suffered a sprained ankle in a springtime minicamp, battled a virus, had a strained hamstring and broke his left thumb before suffering the season-ending knee injury.
In his five games for the Titans, Givens had only eight receptions for 104 yards.
A seventh-round choice of the Patriots in the 2002 draft, Givens worked his way into the New England lineup, and became a dependable receiver, teaming with Deion Branch. In 53 games with the Patriots, the former Notre Dame star had 158 catches for 2,214 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Titans signed Givens hoping he would provide the team a quality lead receiver, a young, ascendant player with a nice upside, but the knee injury forced the Titans to seek alternatives at the position.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.