Parker: Has Young played his last snap for the Titans?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
With little to no room for error if the Titans want to make the AFC playoffs, they will turn to rookie quarterback Rusty Smith to guide the offense. (T-G Photo by Danny Parker)

There's a reason why they claim that the NFL truly stands for Not For Long.

It was less than a month ago when Titans quarterback Vince Young was tossing a first-quarter touchdown pass to promising young wide receiver Kenny Britt on Monday Night Football in Jacksonville.

The following series Young sprained his knee and backup Kerry Collins finished directing Tennessee to a 30-3 victory.

Three injuries and as many losses later and the eyes of pro football analysts are fixated on the Music City.

Young, frustrated by this third injury of the season, tossed much of his uniform into the stands at LP Field on Sunday and wasn't exactly cordial with coach Jeff Fisher following their 19-16 overtime loss to Washington.

On Monday, the decision was made for Young to have surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his thumb, which will subsequently land him on Injured Reserve.

"Our doctor said, for his position, it needs to be fixed," Fisher said at Monday's press conference.

Question after question centered on the relationship between the franchise quarterback and the league's longest tenured coach.

"My focus is no longer on Vince Young. My focus is moving forward with this team," a stone-faced Fisher said.

Translation -- get Rusty Smith as many first-team reps as humanly possible before heading to Houston for Sunday's game.

Fisher said Young would have stayed in the game if not for the thumb injury and that Young gave his team the best chance to win. The fifth-year QB was 12-for-16 passing for 165 yards when forced to leave.

Anyone that's ever held a football will tell you that the thumb plays a vital role in controlling the flight of the ball coming out of your hand. Fisher said Young tried to toss some passes on the sideline and the ball sailed on him. So, they went with the rookie Smith.

If running back Chris Johnson was annoyed with how opposing defenses loaded the box to slow him down earlier this season, wait till he sees what happens when you're signal-caller is a rookie.

So, what now does the future hold for the third pick in the 2006 draft? Will Young ever play for a Fisher-coached Tennessee team again?

"We'll deal with that when the season's over," Fisher said.

It will be interesting to see how that pans out at season's end as one of Young's biggest fans is owner Bud Adams.

Young is owed $8.5 million next season.

According to The Tennessean, Adams' response to Young's return was slightly different from that of his coach: "Oh, God yeah. He is under contract. I wouldn't want to let him go... we are going to pay him a lot of money."

Young's bandwagon is lightening its load. Adams may be the very last to get off. If he's the last, he may have to hire someone else to steer the Titans in 2011.