INDIANAPOLIS _ The Tennessee Titans’ performance in their 38-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts was bad enough.
What transpired in the game itself was possibly even worse with defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ health scare and quarterback Marcus Mariota re-injuring his elbow late in the first half.
First, Pees had to be transported to the hospital with a medical issue in the first quarter. The team made an announcement during the first quarter.
And while the Titans were certainly upset at getting blown out Sunday and being dominated yet again by Andrew Luck, Pees’ health issues did put a bit of a different spin on the outcome.
“Dean is doing OK. They took him to the hospital. They evaluated him. They’re going to keep him overnight for some tests. Everything that I’ve heard as of now has been very positive. He should make a full recovery and be fine, whatever he had going on upstairs,” said Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, who took over calling the defense in Pees’ absence. “Just making sure that Dean is healthy, I think that is the most important thing right now.”
The loss of Pees certainly was in the backs of the players minds on Sunday, even though they tried not to let it factor in.
“I found out by our coaches on the sideline. We were still in the middle of the game. We still had to execute the game plan, and we didn’t,” linebacker Jayon Brown said. “You can’t afford to (think about it in the middle of the game), but sure you think about it, and we all have him in our prayers.”
The Titans don’t yet know if Pees will miss any time, just as they don’t yet know if Mariota will be available and to what he extent he could be effective if he can play next Monday night in Houston.
The Titans did not make Mariota, who finished 10 of 13 for 85 yards with one interception, available for questions from the media after the game.
The fear has to be that the injury could be a re-injury of the elbow he hurt in the season opener in Miami, when he tried to play through it and had two consecutive passes picked off by the Dolphins.
“I’ll address the injuries tomorrow when I get more information. Hopefully, we’ll get some good news on where he’s at,” Vrabel said.
Blaine Gabbert came in and mopped up for the Titans, completing 11 of 16 passes for 118 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception.
“It’s a bummer,” Gabbert said of Mariota. “Anytime you get dinged in this game, it’s never fun. The amount of time and effort you put into preparing your mind, your body and getting this team ready to roll – it’s hard when you have to leave a game. Nobody wants to leave a game, especially due to injury.”