South Notes: Mariota, Texans, Bucs, Titans

After taking a low hit to his knee on Sunday, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota continued to play, so the Tennessee coaching staff is “cautiously optimistic” about the status of that knee, says Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. According to Florio, Mariota is undergoing an MRI today to determine the extent of the injury, and the club is hoping that it’s just an MCL issue, which can heal with rest.

Here’s more from out of the NFL’s South divisions:

  • Texans safety Lonnie Ballentine will undergo surgery after dislocating his left knee and suffering significant ligament damage, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Ballentine’s 2015 season will be over, and he figures to land on injured reserve within the next few days.
  • Two free agent fullbacks are auditioning for the Buccaneers today, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, who tweets that ex-Giant Henry Hynoski and Emil Igwenagu are in town for the tryout.
  • After being traded by the Titans prior to the season, Falcons guard Andy Levitre is hoping to show his old team that it “made a bad decision” in getting rid of him, as Vaughn McClure of writes. A source tells McClure that Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt was never really a fan of Levitre in Tennessee, but Falcons head coach says the veteran guard has been a “great addition” for Atlanta.
  • Don’t expect the Titans to make a change at head coach or general manager during the season, says Paul Kuharsky of
  • After head coach Gus Bradley said that his Jaguars need to “learn how to finish” games when they have a lead, one player tells Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union that “a lot of people will be looking for a job” if the club can’t figure that out. Jacksonville lost its fourth straight game on Sunday, falling to 1-5 on the season.
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