Gage unlikely to play against Bills

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans receiver Justin Gage has several broken transverse process bones in his lower back, and he is unlikely to play Sunday against Buffalo.

The receiver was injured when he fell to the ground after making a leaping catch to set up the go-ahead touchdown in last week's 34-27 win at San Francisco. He finished the game with a season-high 97 yards receiving. But Gage started hurting once the adrenaline wore off, and the Titans ran a variety of X-rays and CAT scans.

Coach Jeff Fisher said Thursday the tests revealed the multiple fractures. The injury does not involve any structure crucial to the spine, and Gage said Wednesday he has had no problem moving his hands and feet. The receiver watched practice Thursday but was not immediately available in the locker room.

Fisher did not rule Gage out against Buffalo but called it unlikely he will play this week.

"He's obviously very uncomfortable," Fisher said. "We experienced this back a few years ago with Peter Sirmon."

A linebacker, Sirmon missed two games with a similar injury before returning in 2003. Fisher said it's the kind of injury that happens with the impact the 6-foot-4 Gage had when he slammed into the turf after going high into the air for the catch.

"It's just a matter of pain," Fisher said.

The injury likely means rookie Kenny Britt makes his first start against the Bills (3-5). The first-round pick out of Rutgers is the team's third-leading receiver with 20 catches for 296 yards, and he is averaging 14.8 yards per catch.


Cornerback Cortland Finnegan practiced Thursday after being given a day off. Defensive end William Hayes got a day off Thursday. Running back Javon Ringer, who spent a night in the hospital after hurting his back Oct. 28, practiced for the first time Thursday. LenDale White missed his second straight practice with an illness. Right tackle David Stewart (hamstring) missed his third straight practice.