Nashville, Tenn. — Titans rookie Marcus Mariota will not play Sunday against the Falcons as he recovers from a sprained MCL in his left knee. Zach Mettenberger will start at quarterback.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Friday that Mariota has been ruled out after missing practice all week, and the rookie’s knee is not quite healed.
Mettenberger practiced as the starter in Mariota’s absence.
“It’s a combination of missing practice and not quite being there (physically),” Whisenhunt said. “He’s close, but it’s a combination of those two things. We decided that was the best way to go this week.”
Mariota sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee when hit low by Miami defensive end Olivier Vernon in last week’s 38-10 loss. Mariota stayed in the game wearing a brace, while the NFL has fined Vernon $17,363 for the hit in the knee area and another $20,000 for hitting the quarterback later in the head and neck area.
Mettenberger started six of the seven games he played last season as a rookie. The sixth-round pick out of LSU threw for 1,412 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.
Mettenberger said helping the Titans (1-4) end their four-game losing streak is more important to him than starting.
“The important thing is we go out there and try to get a team win. That’s ultimately my job,” Mettenberger said.
The Steelers left open the possibility quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could play on the road against the Chiefs, listing him as questionable. He has been out since straining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sept. 27 in a road win over the Rams.
Backup quarterback Mike Vick was ruled out. He strained his right hamstring last weekend in a victory over the Cardinals and did not practice all week.
... Bills receiver Percy Harvin, who sat out last week’s game with a hip injury, did not travel to London for what coach Rex Ryan said was personal reasons.
... Dez Bryant is listed as doubtful for the Cowboys against the Giants. The receiver has been sidelined since after fracturing the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot during a Week 1 victory over the Giants.
... Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (Detroit Central) suffered a left MCL sprain during last weekend’s loss to the Packers and is questionable to play the Raiders on Sunday. He’s a game-time decision.
... Chiefs receiver Jeremy Maclin has passed the concussion protocol and should be available for Sunday’s game against the Steelers. Maclin was hurt during last week’s road loss to the Vikings.
... 49ers safety Antoine Bethea was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a shoulder injury suffered in Thursday night’s 20-3 home loss to the Seahawks.
... Giants defensive end Damontre Moore was fined $20,000 for roughing the passer against Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford.
... Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien was flagged for a late hit on Texans quarterback BrianHoyer (Michigan State) and docked $8,681.