CHANDLER, Ariz. — Titans center Ben Jones has eaten just about anything, including grasshoppers, praying mantises, and many other insects.
Here in the Arizona desert, he met his match: a scorpion.
Jones and the offensive linemen saw one up close on Thursday, when a scorpion was discovered on the floor of the o-line meeting room at the team's hotel. It caused quite a commotion even after it was scooped it up with a cup, and tossed outside.
"Once they saw the scorpion, everyone was kind of freaked out," Lewan said, laughing. "They are terrifying creatures for sure."
Players said the scorpion appeared to be dead, but whether it was dead when they first entered the room was up for debate. Some believe Lewan accidentally stepped on it, since it was underneath his chair.
"Those things are poisonous," Jones said. "That's all we have been hearing, Taylor and (offensive line coach Russ Grimm) talking about scorpions, saying "Check your bed every night.' We thought they were just hyping them up. But then we finally saw one.
"It was up under Taylor's feet. I really don't know if he stepped on it by accident or if it had been dead for a while. But we got it out of there. It was pretty scary."
Lewan gave fellow offensive lineman Dennis Kelly credit for spotting it.
The players managed to have some fun with the encounter. After the scorpion was put in a cup, Jones put it on tight end Delanie Walker's shoulder.
"Delanie was rattled for the walkthrough," Lewan said.
Titans tackle Jack Conklin saw the scorpion as well, and wanted no part of its venomous stinger.
"It was real small, but the smaller ones are supposed to be the more poisonous ones," Conklin said.
Conklin knows all about Jones and his reputation for eating bugs, but said: "Ben was one of the most scared ones in there."
Jones didn't deny it.
"I'll be checking my bed now for sure,'' Jones said. "At least now I know what it looks like. It was weird. I thought they would be black or dark, but it was tan, almost clear. But it was very scary."
Lewan, who is from Arizona, doesn't blame his teammates for being rattled.
"Growing up in Arizona, you see them all the time. There were times when I woke up, and there was one on my pillow," Lewan said. "I've never been bitten by one, but the ones that are most poisonous are cool, climb on walls and like the cool climate. So those are the ones that are inside.
"Have you seen one? They really are terrifying creatures."
Titans players take the field for Friday's practice at Arizona State University. (Photos: Gary Glenn)