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Titans will shuffle at safety with Cyprien out

(TSX / STATS) -- NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans brought in safety Johnathan Cyprien to be a strong tackler in the secondary when he arrived as a free agent from rival Jacksonville.

Cyprien had a rough first half, missing some key tackles in the season-opening loss to the Oakland Raiders. He played better in the second half, but that was cut short and now he will miss some time.

"Johnathan Cyprien will probably be out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury," Titans head coach Mike Mularkey said.

That bit of news means that the Titans will go back to the safety formula that they used a lot toward the end of the 2016 season with second-year man Kevin Byard teaming up again with former starter Da'Norris Searcy.

Searcy finished up for Cyprien on Sunday, and even played some in the nickel package in place of the free-agent pickup.

Said Mularkey, "Fortunately, we have some depth at that position with (Searcy) and Curtis Riley as well. We have some depth there. That's one of the positions we kept for special teams, and so we've got some guys there that can step in and have some experience."

Riley was a healthy scratch on Sunday, but figures to be active now for the next several weeks while Cyprien heals. Riley came to the Titans as a cornerback, but was moved to safety last year after he came back from a ruptured Achilles that took place in his rookie season.

The secondary, which was overhauled in the offseason, gave up 262 yards and two touchdowns in the 26-16 loss to Oakland. Cyprien wasn't the only injury there either, as backup cornerback Tye Smith, who played some snaps early on in a dime package, suffered a broken hand. It is not yet known if he can play through the injury.

There was some good news, however, as cornerback LeShaun Sims, who was out of the opener with a groin injury, is expected to be back.

Updated September 12, 2017

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