Colts LB Darius Leonard admitted that he at least questioned his NFL future while he was out three weeks dealing with a concussion.
“That’s when I really started thinking, ‘Wait a minute. Now I have a wife and kid,” Leonard said, via The Athletic. “I’ve had a headache for three weeks. Will I ever be the same? Do I keep playing? You have those thoughts in the back of your head.”
“It was definitely aggravating,” Leonard said of being out of the lineup with dealing with concussion symptoms. “It’s very frustrating because you want to be out there, but I was tired and having headaches day in and day out, I was irritable, didn’t have any energy. And you know me, I’m always full of energy. It was just something where I couldn’t be me.”
Leonard made it clear on Twitter that he wasn’t contemplating retirement.
- Per Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star, Colts LB Darius Leonard and S Clayton Geathers have both cleared the concussion protocol.
- According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Jaguars WR Marqise Lee has a sprained ankle that has him considered week-to-week, meaning he’ll likely miss some time.
Titans QB Marcus Mariota entered this year in an almost unprecedented situation, as the former No. 2 overall pick in 2015 was not extended before the season amid questions about his long-term viability as Tennessee’s franchise quarterback. Sunday was a worst-case scenario for Mariota, as he was benched for backup Ryan Tannehill in the third quarter of a 16-0 loss to Denver.
“I was inaccurate today, and I didn’t give our guys a chance to make plays and that’s some of the reasons I got pulled,” Mariota said via Jim Wyatt of the official team website. “It starts with me – I have to do a better job.”
Mariota has regressed since a breakout 2016 campaign. He had only 24 touchdowns to 23 interceptions while dealing with various injuries the past two seasons and his completion percentage this season has dipped under 60 percent. Before being benched Sunday, he had completed only seven passes and thrown his first two interceptions of the season.
“Every decision we make we try and do in the best interest of the football team at every position,” Titans HC Mike Vrabel said. “At that point and time, we’re just trying to move the football and score more points.”
In relief of Mariota, Tannehill completed 13-16 passes for 144 yards, though he was also unable to get the Titans on the scoreboard. Vrabel has yet to name a starter for next week and says he’ll consult with his staff and GM Jon Robinson before making a decision.
“These things are tough, no matter how you cut it,” Tannehill said. “I think the only thing that makes it somewhat tolerable is we do have a good relationship and we have a ton of respect for each other. I have a ton of respect for Marcus. It’s a tough situation all around.”
- The Titans anticipate first-round rookie DT Jeffery Simmons returning to practice this week. Simmons has been recovering from a February torn ACL. (Turron Davenport)