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NFL notebook: Titans QB Mariota has sprained MCL

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Tests on Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota’s knee revealed a sprained medial collateral ligament, head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday.

Whisenhunt said Mariota is “walking around fine” and didn’t rule the rookie out for Week 7. Depending on the severity, a sprained MCL carries a recovery time of 1-6 weeks.

“We’ll see how it goes this week,” Whisenhunt said.

Mariota took a beating on Sunday, absorbing five sacks to raise his season total to 19 and playing most of the game with an injured knee as the result of a late hit by defensive end Olivier Vernon in the second quarter.

–Titans center Brian Schwenke will be placed on injured reserve after being diagnosed with a dislocated ankle in Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

–Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, after missing the last three games with a knee injury, plans be a full participant at practice this week and play against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“My plan is to go out Wednesday and practice,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. I know I’ve got to be smart about it. I’ve got to be able to defend myself. We’re just going to take it day by day.”

–Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward plans to keep wearing eye black to honor his late father, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, despite the possibility of more fines form the NFL.

Heyward, who was fined $5,787 last week, violated the NFL’s rules again on Sunday by putting “IRON” and “HEAD” on his eye black.

Heyward faces an $11,576 fine for a second violation of the rules.

–Detroit Lions running back Zach Zenner will be placed on injured reserve and miss the rest of the season after suffering cracked ribs and a partially collapsed lung in Sunday’s contest against the Chicago Bears.

–New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa has been suspended without pay for the team’s next four games for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy.

The suspension stems from a Aug. 31, 2014, arrest for simple assault that was dismissed in a Florham Park, N.J., municipal court after the prosecution said Enunwa’s girlfriend chose not to pursue the case. A police report said Enunwa grabbed his girlfriend by the ankles and pulled her off a bed, causing her to injure her head and finger.

–The New Orleans Saints released kicker Zach Hocker and signed former Washington Redskins veteran Kai Forbath, according to reports.

Hocker missed two more field goals last Thursday night in the win against the Atlanta Falcons, giving him four misses out of 13 attempts and one extra-point attempt.

–San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen suffered a hip flexor injury Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Allen will have the injury tested Monday but he does not believe it to be serious, according to the report.

–Fans in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland are being offered a chance to give their two cents on the billion dollar question: Which team is going to Los Angeles?

NFL vice president Eric Grubman will lead public hearings next week in St. Louis (Oct. 27), San Diego (Oct. 28) and Oakland (Oct. 29), all focused on the potential for those teams to be relocated to Los Angeles as soon as the 2016 season.

The community forums are standard procedure and requirements in the collective bargaining agreement regarding relocation policy.

–NFL fans can begin voting to select players for the 2016 Pro Bowl.

The NFL announced that voting is available online and on web-enabled mobile phones by going to NFL.com/probowl/ballot.

Balloting will conclude on Dec. 15. The Pro Bowl players will be announced on Tuesday, Dec. 22 on NFL Network.


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