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Mariota Out vs. Texans, Status for Season Finale TBD

Posted Dec 21, 2015

Titans QB Marcus Mariota out vs Texans, status for season finale TBD, interim head coach Mike Mularkey confirmed on Monday.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is out for Sunday’s game against the Texans.

Second-year quarterback Zach Mettenberger will start in his place.

The Titans made the decision on Monday after Mariota suffered a right knee injury in Sunday’s loss to the Patriots. Interim coach Mike Mularkey made the announcement during his regularly scheduled Monday press conference at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

Mularkey said the Titans haven’t ruled out Mariota for the rest of the season, however.

“He will be out this week and evaluated again at the start of next week, and see where he’s at with that,’’ Mularkey said of Mariota. “The injury is basically the same injury as the other knee, but less serious.

“Obviously he is not going to play this week. We’re going reevaluate it and see if he can play next week.”

The Titans face the Colts in the season finale on January 3.

“Because of the injury not being to the state the other one was, and the competitive part of Marcus – he’s a fast healer, so we’ll just see,’ Mularkey said of Mariota’s chances of playing against the Colts. “Getting as much game experience (as we can). He wants to play. He wanted to play yesterday. There’s nothing like game experience.

“We certainly will not – if we have any concerns – play him. If there was any way he was not going to be capable of playing, no way.”

Mariota injured his knee during the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Patriots when he was sacked by linebacker Jamie Collins on a third down play.

Mettenberger replaced Mariota on the next series, and finished the 33-16 loss to the Patriots. Mettenberger completed 20-of-28 passes for 242 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the game.

Mariota missed two games earlier this season after suffering an MCL sprain in his left knee in the team’s October 18 game against the Dolphins. Mariota finished Sunday’s game 3-of-6 for 34 yards, and he was sacked three times.

Mariota’s stats during the 12 starts during in his rookie season: 230-of-370 (62.2%) for 2,818 yards, with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His passer rating: 91.5.

Mariota, the second overall pick of the NFL Draft, has already broken several franchise rookie records, including most touchdowns (19), completions (230), passing yards (2,818) and passing attempts (370). Mariota has completed three or more touchdown passes on four different occasions during his rookie season. He joined Peyton Manning (four in 1998) as the only rookie to accomplish the feat.

Mariota said after Sunday’s game he hoped to play again this season.

“I want to play every game -- that has kind of been my mentality since I was a kid,’’ Mariota said. “And that’s what I am going to try and do.”

Mariota was outfitted in a knee brace on Sunday, and he watched the second half from the sideline wearing a stocking cap.

Mettenberger, a sixth-round pick from LSU in 2014, started two games earlier this season, losses to the Falcons (10-7) and Texans (20-6). He has started eight games in his two NFL seasons.

On the season, Mettenberger has completed 69-of-102 passes (67.6%) for 663 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He has a passer rating of 74.9.

In his eight starts, Mettenberger has started four games against the Texans.

“Marcus is the toughest kid I know,’’ Mettenberger said after Sunday’s game. “In any situation I am going to prepare like I’m the starter and we’ll see.”