A knee injury will keep Marcus Mariota on the sideline in Week 7, meaning Zach Mettenberger will be the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, the team announced on Friday.
Mariota, 21, suffered the injury on a controversial hit from Olivier Vernon that earned a 15-yard penalty. After the 38-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt spoke out against the hit and said it was a "bulls***" attempt to injure the rookie.
After 466 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions in his first two starts, Mariota came back down to Earth with three touchdowns and five interceptions in his next three games. He also leads the NFL with five fumbles, including one against the Dolphins that didn't even feature contact from a defender.
The No. 2 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft dealt with knee and shoulder injuries during his time with the Oregon Ducks, where he won the Heisman Trophy as a junior in 2014 before declaring for the Draft, but never missed any of the team's 41 games while he was the starter.
Zach Mettenberger and Charlie Whitehurst, the team's No. 2 and No. 3 quarterbacks on the depth chart, each had time as starters for the Titans in 2014 during a 2-14 season. Mettenberger had eight touchdowns and seven interceptions in six starts before his season ended with a shoulder injury, while Whitehurst had seven touchdowns and two interceptions in five starts.