Titans hope Mariota can recover quickly from stinger

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans need the extra day off before their next game, both to allow injuries to heal and figure out what went wrong in their worst loss this season.

Marcus Mariota is recovering from a stinger that knocked him out of the Titans’ 38-10 loss to the Colts, not the elbow injury announced during the game. Coach Mike Vrabel said all tests were positive on defensive coordinator Dean Pees, who returned to Nashville on Monday. Pees spent a night in an Indianapolis hospital after an issue forced him from the coaches’ box early in the game.

Vrabel also said he is hopeful Mariota will play when the Titans visit Houston on Monday and Pees also will return to work.

Whether Mariota misses his third start this season depends on how quickly the Saint Louis School graduate recovers from what Vrabel called a bad stinger with a hit to the head. Mariota was hurt when sacked for the fourth time late in the first half, and he did not return with what was announced as an injury to his elbow. Mariota was forced from the season opener after hurting his right elbow.

Mariota was hit in the head, and Vrabel said the independent neurologist evaluated the quarterback and cleared Mariota.

“Like a lot of players, he got a bad stinger,” Vrabel said. “So, we’ll have to see where he’s at.”

Vrabel said that may include Mariota getting a second opinion. Mariota did not speak to reporters after the game because he was receiving treatment, and the quarterback was not in the locker room Monday when it was open to the media. Vrabel said a stinger can leave some numbness down the arm, and Mariota dealt with some numbness in his fingers after his elbow injury.

The Titans (5-5) have to figure out what went wrong against the Colts, a surprise after routing the Patriots 34-10 the week before. They now trail Houston (7-3) by two games in the AFC South.

“We’re still in this race as bad as it was, and it was bad,” Vrabel said. “Put it all on me. I’ve lost five games and the players have won five. So, I have to do a better job of not losing them and they have to do a better job of winning them.”