Here’s a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that threatens to suck all the juice out of tonight’s matchup between the Colts and the Titans, the winner of which will advance to the playoffs while the loser goes home to cry. According to Mortensen, Titans starting quarterback Marcus Mariota is unlikely to take the field.
Mariota has been a limited participant in practice all week and is officially listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, but Mortensen says the situation is a bit more dire than that. Mariota is dealing with a nerve condition brought on by a stinger he suffered during last week’s game, and it apparently would have him facing longterm health risks if he played tonight. From ESPN:
But one source said that it is the physical contact of a football game that would subject Mariota to the risk of permanent damage, according to the opinion of the independent spine specialist that has been shared with team officials and the medical staff.
A win-or-go-home game happening in a primetime slot is all anyone could ask for out of a Week 17 slate, but nobody wants to see such a high-stakes game involving Blaine Gabbert. He’s thrown for 461 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions on 72 pass attempts this year, and he threw for exactly 117 yards in each of his two starts early in the season. Derrick Henry better be ready to run the ball a lot.