A very significant development in the AFC has taken place this afternoon, as Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was carted off the field in the third quarter of today’s game with an ankle injury.
Mariota was tackled from behind by a Jaguars defender and had his ankle rolled up on, and he stayed down on the field as trainers looked at him. They then brought out the cart for him and immobilized his leg in an air cast, and he was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game as he undergoes tests.
The Titans entered the fourth quarter of today’s game trailing the Jaguars 25-10, and now they’ll be playing the rest of the game with backup Matt Cassel in at quarterback. This is a huge development in the AFC South because it could significantly shape the division race in the final two weeks. If the Titans lose today and the Texans win tonight, Houston would win the division. The Colts need a lot to go right in order to back into the playoffs, and that includes them winning out, the Texans losing out, and the Titans losing today. The Titans are trailing big today, so if the Colts win and Texans lose it would then go to week 17. And then, the Colts would need to win and would need the Titans to beat the Texans - and it’s entirely possible the Titans could be playing with Cassel at quarterback instead of Mariota.
It’s a very significant loss for the Titans, as Mariota has been having a very good sophomore season. Through today’s game, Mariota has completed 276 of 451 passes (61.2%) for 3,426 yards (7.6 yards per attempt), 26 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while also rushing for 349 yards and two scores. He’s been terrific in helping to lead Tennessee’s offensive attack, but for the time being that role will go to Matt Cassel. And it’s possible that not only will Tennessee’s playoff hopes rest on how he does, but also potentially the Colts’ playoff hopes as well.