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Marcus Mariota has stinger; DC Dean Pees OK to leave hospital

ESPN.com | Updated: 2018-11-20 03:30:26

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans may have dodged a bullet with Marcus Mariota's injury, according to coach Mike Vrabel.

Vrabel provided an update on his starting quarterback Monday, saying Mariota suffered a stinger against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Mariota was injured with seconds left in the first half of Sunday's 38-10 loss to the Colts and did not return. The injury was originally believed to be the same elbow injury that limited Mariota's effectiveness during the first few weeks of the season.

"He's getting treatment and it's really not even the elbow. He had a stinger when a guy hit him in the head. He was evaluated by the independent neurologist and was cleared. We will have to see where he's at and make sure he's OK to play," Vrabel said. "When you have a stinger there's numbness. It goes from your neck down to your arm. When you get your neck twisted, you suffer some inflammation. That's what happens."

The Titans are going to get a second opinion on Mariota's injury to make sure he is able to get back under center. Vrabel and the Titans are hoping everything checks out for Mariota and he is able to play next Monday night against the Texans. If Mariota is unable to go, Blaine Gabbert will start against the Houston Texans. Gabbert started for Tennessee during their Week 2 victory over the Texans this season.

Vrabel also gave an update on defensive coordinator Dean Pees, who was taken to the hospital during the first quarter of Sunday's game after receiving medical attention in the coach's box at Lucas Oil Stadium. Pees was still in Indianapolis on Monday morning but is heading back to Nashville since the results of the tests that were done looked good.

Vrabel thanked Colts general manager Chris Ballard and his team for going to the hospital and checking on Pees, who wants to get back to work right away.

"I thought that was a classy move by the Colts organization. They made sure he was comfortable and it looks like he'll be headed back today," Vrabel said. "Dean loves this team and he loves his players. He wanted to come in today, he's not coming. I told him to rest and that he'll work 'banker hours' this week. I talked to him this morning and he was in good spirits."

Vrabel said he received a steady flow of text messages asking about Pees. Vrabel said he was impressed with how many head coaches and assistants reached out to him and said it was a sign of the respect that Pees has within the league.

The Titans don't want to rush Pees back and want to make sure he's all right before he fully jumps back in the swing of things. If Pees is not able to resume his role as defensive coordinator on Monday, Vrabel will take over as the play caller.

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