The Colts’ matchup on Monday depends heavily on which Titans quarterback lines up under center.
Marcus Mariota has battled a hamstring injury for the past few weeks, and he did not play at all last week in their loss to the Miami Dolphins.
As of now, Mariota is hoping to suit up Monday night and will likely be a game-time decision. The extra day of rest will certainly help his chances, but if there is any doubt, the Titans will likely hold him out.
Mariota has started three games this year before suffering his injury in the fourth game.
He has had somewhat productive outings in each of his starts. He has completed over 60% of his passes for 792 yards, but only 3 touchdowns. Those aren’t gaudy numbers, but it provides a balanced attack when he’s healthy.
The Backup Plan
Hamstring injuries can be hard to bounce back from, so no one should be shocked if Matt Cassel gets the nod on Monday.
If that is the case, the offense that takes the field will probably perform much differently. Cassel has been a serviceable quarterback during his career, but this season has not gone well for him so far.
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When he stepped in for Mariota in Week 4, he threw two interceptions in only ten pass attempts. Last week was his first full game of the season where he completed over 60% of his passes with no interceptions, but only racked up 141 yards. At age 35, it has become apparent that Cassel’s skills have waned.
If Mariota’s injury becomes more serious than originally thought, the Titans may find themselves in the same quarterback predicament that the Colts faced earlier this year. They relied on Cassel coming into the year, but they may decide to move on.
The Colts do not need to worry about the Titans bringing in some external help at this point in the week, but it is worth considering as the race for the AFC South continues to develop.