Titans holding off on decision on QB Marcus Mariota’s status

The Boston Globe Sports 1 month ago

Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel is taking some time before deciding if Marcus Mariota remains his starter or the time has arrived to turn the Titans over to backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

This isn’t a decision the second-year head coach wants to rush, even though he plans to tell both quarterbacks and the Titans some time Tuesday.

‘‘I just want to make sure that we’re going through everything that we need to go through and what we want to do offensively, not use the emotion of the game to make a decision,’’ Vrabel said Monday.

Vrabel benched Mariota in the third quarter of a 16-0 loss in Denver, the first time the No. 2 overall pick of 2015 had been pulled because of his play. Mariota was 7 of 18 for 63 yards, sacked three times and intercepted twice — his first turnovers of the season.

Mariota is being paid $20.9 million in the final year of his rookie contract, but the Titans’ offense has managed just one touchdown in the past 10 quarters. The Chargers (2-4) visit on Sunday.

‘‘We’re 2-4, we’re coming back home,’’ Vrabel said. ‘‘We have to find a way to win a football game.’’

Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker said the coaches will do what they feel is best for the Titans. Asked about Tannehill, Walker said he was an elite quarterback in the NFL a year ago in Miami. Against Denver, Tannehill was 13 of 16 for 144 yards and was sacked four times.

‘‘I don’t know what the situation is going to be, but soon enough we’ll all find out,’’ Walker said.

Winston keeps job

A day after Jameis Winston was intercepted five times and lost a fumble in the Buccaneers’ loss to the Panthers, his job appears safe — for now.

Bruce Arians said Monday he has no plans to bench Winston, who’s making $20.9 million in the final season of the contract he signed as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. Winston has 87 giveaways in 62 career games — most by any player since the fifth-year quarterback entered the NFL in 2015.

Arians remains confident the quarterback can eliminates a habit of trying to play Superman rather than simply throwing the ball away to avoid opposing pass rushers.

‘‘Incompletions don’t get you beat. Sacks and sack fumbles get you beat,’’ said Arians, who has also worked with Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, and Carson Palmer during a long coaching career.

Asked if any of the other quarterbacks he’s tutored ever had difficulty deciding when to give up on plays, Arians said Roethlisberger was like that early in his career.

‘‘He would never throw a ball away,’’ Arians said. ‘‘Peyton Manning would throw it away in a heartbeat. Ben thought he could make a play out of anything, like Jameis does. He’s made a bunch of them, but he also got hurt a few times holding onto it like that.’’

Talib headed to IR

Rams cornerback Aqib Talib is headed to injured reserve because of his rib injury, he told ESPN. Talib missed Sunday’s loss to the 49ers with the injury, which he sustained in Week 5 against the Seahawks. Talib could return later this season, but he must miss at least eight weeks . . . The Jets activated tight end Chris Herndon after he completed a four-game suspension and waived linebacker Frankie Luvu. The Jets had a roster exemption for Herndon that expired Monday, causing them to make a move to clear a spot for him on the active roster as they prepare for next Monday’s game against the Patriots. Herndon was banned for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He was eligible to practice with the team last week, but is sidelined by a hamstring injury. The team is hoping Herndon, who had 39 catches for 502 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie, will return to practice this week . . . The anemic and injury-plagued New York Giants’ offense expects to get a little help when it plays the Arizona Cardinals this weekend. Tight end Evan Engram was optimistic about playing Sunday, and there is a chance star running back Saquon Barkley also will be back. The status of top receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) is uncertain . . . Colts All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard completed his first full practice in nearly three weeks and is expected to play Sunday against Houston. Leonard missed Indy’s previous two games with a concussion . . . The Bears placed guard Kyle Long on injured reserve because of a hip injury and promoted defensive end Abdullah Anderson from the practice squad. It’s the fourth straight year Long has gone on injured reserve.

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The Tennessee Titans benched starting quarterback Marcus Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill during the team's 16-0 loss to the Denver Broncos.
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