Justin Gage Has Broken Bones in Back
But Gage paid for it.
According to the Associated Press, Gage suffered several broken transverse bones in his lower back on the catch. He is expected to miss at least one game -- the Titans host Buffalo this Sunday -- and could be out longer.
"It is just a matter of healing now,'' Titans head coach Jeff Fisher said Thursday, The Tennessean reported. "He is getting better and will just have to settle down. He is obviously very uncomfortable.''
The Tennessean also pointed out that former Titan Peter Sirmon suffered the same injury in 2003 and missed two games.
As you can see in the video, Gage did not react as if he was hurt following the catch, and in fact, symptoms did not begin to show themselves until following Tennessee's victory. But once Gage's adrenaline wore off, he quickly became very uncomfortable -- leading the Titans' medical staff to perform a host of tests.
"I've never fallen off a ladder. I can't really compare it to any catches," Gage said. "I can't say I've caught a ball in that position, maybe rebound a basketball or a dunk. [I] never fell from it. It's something I'm not used to."
It's probably fair to say that very few people are used to falling five or six feet onto their backs on a regular basis, but Gage's point is well taken -- while his injury is not a serious one, it might wind up sidelining him for multiple games. As Fisher said, it's just a matter of when he feels healthy enough to play.
Gage had a great Week 1, hauling in seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown in Tennessee's loss at Pittsburgh. He slumped after that, though, making just eight catches over the Titans' next fives games, finally reviving during Tennessee's recent two-game win streak -- a run that coincides with Vince Young's return to the starting quarterback position.
"I think a lot of what happened is just Vince doing his job and making plays," Gage told The Tennessean about Young. That's one thing he'll do for you. He'll make plays for you at any time in the game.''
In Gage's absence, rookie Kenny Britt will grab a starting spot. Britt's yet to start this season, but is still second on the team with 20 catches.