Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota took a couple of big hits Sunday against the Miami Dolphins and sustained an apparent knee injury. Mariota was sacked by Cameron Wake and took another big hit by Olivier Vernon on the following play. Vernon hit him low and Mariota stayed on the ground, holding his leg.
He was clearly in pain and was limping, but surprisingly, he stayed in the game. He wasn't moving well after that though, and he looked hobbled on the next play. He played the majority of the game, but ultimately left after the penultimate Titans possession. Zach Mettenberger replaced him for the final drive, as the Titans were down 28 points at that stage.
On Monday, Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt said an MRI showed it was a sprained MCL for the rookie and that he was able to walk around. After the game on Sunday, Whisenhunt was asked about the low hit following the game, and he wasn't happy:
Whisenhunt low hit on Mariota: "I think it was done with the idea of trying to hurt our QB and that's (bulls---) football." @Titans— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) October 18, 2015
Here's a look at the play that initially hurt Mariota:
Vernon was hit was a roughing the passer penalty and could face a fine later this week. Mariota fumbled the ball twice after the hit.
Mariota was the second overall pick in this year's draft, and he has started every game for the Titans this season. Going into Sunday's game, Mariota had completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,020 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He's been playing well for Tennessee this season, and any injuries would be a big setback for the Titans.
Mettenberger, a sixth-round pick in 2014, played in seven games as a rookie, completing 107 of 179 passes for 1,412 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.
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