Ex-Tennessee Titans Player’s $25M Suit Claims Team Kept Injury Secret

September 24, 2009

Former Tennessee Titans wide receiver David Givens claims the team failed to tell him about a defect in his knee that led to an injury and eventually ended his career.

Givens claims in a $25 million lawsuit filed this week that a doctor discovered a defect in his knee during a physical around the time his contract was being negotiated in March 2006. He claims the examining doctor told team officials he “may need surgery at some point” and “may not be able to make a full 16-game season,” according to the suit.

But Givens claims he was “kept in the dark about his condition” and team officials urged him to keep playing.

“The decision was made by the Titans management, coaching and medical staffs to risk serious injury and aggravation to a pre-existing condition without so much as consulting or discussing that situation with David Givens,” the lawsuit said.

Givens hurt that knee Nov. 12, 2006, in a game against Baltimore. An X-ray determined that the “previously known lesion and defect in his knee had crumbled,” according to the lawsuit.

Givens, 29, has not played professionally again.

Titans officials said they had not seen the lawsuit and had no comment. Coach Jeff Fisher also declined to comment about the lawsuit after practice.

Givens’ attorney, Dan Warlick, said his client is disappointed and felt his injury could have been prevented.

“He tries to stay upbeat, but this guy … was at the top of his game,” Warlick said.

Givens caught 158 receptions for 2,214 yards and 12 touchdowns in four years with New England, where he won two Super Bowl rings. He left as the Patriots’ career leader in postseason touchdown catches with seven.

The receiver signed a five-year, $24 million deal with an $8 million signing bonus in March 2006 with Tennessee. Givens had eight catches for 104 yards in his only season with the Titans. The November injury occurred on the second play of the fourth quarter of a 27-26 loss to Baltimore. Givens stopped and planted his left leg to start blocking on a run play when he went down untouched. He had to be carted off the field.

Givens tore his anterior cruciate ligament, meniscus and needed bone plugs inserted to repair a broken bone in the knee. He also needed another surgery in 2007 to clean up meniscus and shave down some of the bone.

Warlick said Givens has had at least two more surgeries and is currently undergoing rehabilitation.

“He continues to work to try to recover,” he said.

AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville contributed to this report.

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