TAMPA, Fla. — The Tennessee Titans’ 13-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was not the main topic of conversation inside the postgame locker room.
The most talked-about topic after the loss was the status of quarterback Vince Young, who suffered a right quadriceps injury with 6:54 to play in the third quarter on a scramble and did not return.
Young was rolling left and headed out of bounds when he was nudged slightly by former Vanderbilt defensive lineman Jovan Haye of Tampa Bay. As Young went out of bounds, he appeared to pull up lame and landed awkwardly with the pulled quad.
Young went to the locker room and returned to the sideline, and it was announced in the pressbox that his return would be probable. However, he never resurfaced except for running on the sideline. He will be further evaluated today.
“At this point, he’ll just be day-to-day,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “It’s not something he could have played and played effectively with. He did it before he got out of bounds. He strained it on that one scramble.”
Young finished his day 11 of 14 for 120 yards with one interception.
Young said he wanted to return to the game, but was advised against it by the Titans’ medical staff.
“I just wanted to be cautious, because every time I tried to bend my knee, there was a little sharp pain. I didn’t really want to go back out there and do anything to make it even worse,” Young said. “Just talking to the trainers, those guys know what they’re doing. I wanted to be cautious. I wanted to go back in, but if those guys say, ‘Go on and sit it out.’ That’s what I’m going to do.”
Backup Kerry Collins came off the bench and hit on 10 of 20 passes for 125 yards. He directed a 13-play, 86-yard drive that tied the game with 1:17 to play before the Bucs rallied with the game-winning drive.
Collins said he knew it would be his game to finish after his first series on the field.
“After the first series, I talked to the trainers and they pretty much told me he was down for the rest of the game,” Collins said.
As for this week in Houston, the Titans and Young will have to play wait-and-see.
“It’s a little sore, but I’ve got to be patient. We’ll see how it is tomorrow,” Young said.
THINNING OUT: Quarterback wasn’t the only position in the backfield where the Titans were thin. Tennessee lost running back Chris Brown and fullback Ahmard Hall to injuries in the first half, and neither player returned.
Brown, who had 26 yards on five rushing attempts and had a fumble, suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return.
Brown’s absence forced LenDale White to carry the load at running back, as third-stringer Chris Henry was inactive.
Hall suffered a concussion on the Titans’ first offensive series and did not return. The Titans were fortunate that backup Casey Cramer, normally a special teams player, was available. He had been inactive for the team’s first four games this season.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH: After winning ugly against Atlanta the week before, including a goal-line stand, the Titans were solid but not spectacular on defense Sunday and came up short when Jeff Garcia directed the Buccaneers to a winning field goal drive.
After the game, Titans players were upset with how they played, not only Sunday, but the past two games overall.
“It definitely has to get better. It can’t be one of those things where the defense is expected to pull out miracles, nor can it be one of those things where the offense is expected to pull out miracles,” linebacker Keith Bulluck said. “We’ve got to play as a team, and we’re kind of sputtering right now in second gear, trying to shift into third and fourth and get it going. 4-1 is better than 3-2, but what are you going to do?”
TAKEN AWAY, TWICE: Two different times Ronde Barber intercepted Kerry Collins with what would have given him the all-time Tampa Bay record for career interceptions, only to have both calls overturned by replay.
Barber’s second would-be interception would have ended the Titans’ eventual game-tying drive as he outleaped White for the ball, but landed with his hand hitting out of bounds.
“I said he didn’t have possession. Me and Justin Gage went over there and said [to Fisher], ‘He was out of bounds,’ and he said, ‘I know’ and he threw the challenge flag out,” White said.
DUBIOUS START: White was part of Gaines Adams’ first career sack in the first half, when he actually knocked Vince Young to the ground as Young was scrambling. Adams, the Bucs’ first-round pick, was the closest Bucs defender to Young and was credited with the 3-yard sack.
“I tried to get back in front of Vince to make a block. Vince was trying to make a play, and I ran into Vince. I tackled Vince and gave Gaines the sack,” White said.