NASHVILLE, Tenn. —The Titans didn't just lose a football game on Sunday, they also lost receiver Justin Hunter.
Hunter suffered a fractured right ankle in Sunday's 27-10 loss to the Panthers when he was hit from behind while blocking on a pass caught by running back Dexter McCluster.
Hunter's right leg was placed in an air cast, and he was taken off the field on a cart. Hunter was in the locker room in a cast after the game, with crutches. He was not available to speak with reporters.
"I don't know the exact specifics,'' interim coach Mike Mularkey said immediately afterward, "but it's not good."
Hunter, who played at the University of Tennessee, had a team-high four catches for 47 yards in the contest before the injury, which occurred with less than two minutes remaining in the team's loss to the Panthers.
Members of both teams talked to Hunter before he left the field. Hunter's 2014 season was cut short after he suffered a lacerated spleen in a game at Houston on November 30.
"It's tough to see anybody go down, especially like that. It's tough,'' Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota said. "Prayers go out to him and I hope he gets well soon."
The Titans have been without receiver Kendall Wright the last two weeks because of knee injury. Harry Douglas returned against the Saints after missing two games with sore ribs.
The Titans also have receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, along with Rico Richardson. Tre McBride is on the practice squad.
In nine games, Hunter caught 22 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown.
"Whenever it is one of your teammates, it hits the heart. When it's somebody in your group, it's like your brother. You do everything together, and it's heartbreaking,'' Douglas said of Hunter.
"Everybody has to step up. We all love each other, so we all have 100 percent faith in each other to get it done. We have to go practice harder and play harder."