Titans rule out two starters in secondary against Chargers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans will be without two defensive starters in the home opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel ruled out safety Amani Hooker and cornerback Kristian Fulton for Sunday's game. Hooker collided with teammate Sean Murphy-Bunting while tackling Saints receiver Michael Thomas last week and was placed in concussion protocol.

The fourth-year safety did not practice all week. Hooker missed two games due to a concussion last season. Shoulder and knee injuries kept Hooker out of another seven games.

Fulton injured his hamstring in the second quarter but returned late in the third quarter after being ruled questionable to return. Hamstring and groin injuries kept Fulton out of seven games last season. Fulton was a limited participant in practice throughout the week.

Tennessee's pass defense allowed an NFL-worst 4,671 passing yards last season. New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr threw for 305 yards against the Titans last week.

Second-year cornerback Roger McCreary will move from the nickel spot to right cornerback in place of Fulton. When the Titans go with their nickel package and move McCreary inside over the slot, cornerback Tre Avery will play one of the outside corner positions. Defensive back Elijah Molden will fill in for Hooker at one of the safety spots alongside veteran Kevin Byard.

Titans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins didn't practice all week because of an ankle injury he suffered on the final offensive play against the Saints. Despite not seeing the field, Hopkins said he prepared this week as if he's going to play on Sunday.