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Matt Cassel Steps in for Titans QB Marcus Mariota


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Matt Cassel has been a face-of-the-franchise player during his NFL career.

Now, he's stepping in to replace one.

Cassel will start for the Titans in the season finale against the Texans at Nissan Stadium. He replaces starter Marcus Mariota, who suffered a fractured fibula in Saturday's loss to the Jaguars.

Cassel said after practice on Wednesday the scenario is unfortunate, but he'll be ready to go. It's why he's stuck around in the NFL since 2005.

"I love the game, first and foremost,'' Cassel said. "I enjoy playing football, I enjoy the camaraderie, being a part of the team. If I didn't it would be tough to do all the different roles that I've had throughout my career. But at the same time I enjoy coming to work every day. I have a great support system and my wife helps take care of those four children that we have so that is helpful as well. So there's a lot that goes into it."

Cassel completed 13-of-24 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown in relief of Mariota against the Jaguars. He did throw an interception that was returned for a touchdown by Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey late in the game.

On the season, Cassel has completed 14-of-25 passes for 134 yards.

A 12-year NFL veteran, Cassel signed with the Titans earlier this offseason. He's played with the Patriots, Chiefs, Vikings, Bills and Cowboys in his career, and has played in 102 games during his career, with 79 starts. He's thrown for 102 touchdowns and 78 interceptions.

On Wednesday, Cassel said he got his most reps in a practice since training camp. The game experience from Saturday will help him this week, he said. On Tuesday, the Titans promoted Alex Tanney from the practice squad to serve as the team's No.2 quarterback on Sunday.

As for the offense, Cassel doesn't expect many changes this week as he steps in for Mariota.

"I wouldn't anticipate much change in the offense,'' Cassel said. "We've had a lot of success this year doing what we do. There will probably be some elements of our game plan that change just based on my skill set compared to what Marcus had to offer but we'll see as the week goes on. Obviously we are still installing stuff and going through the week and preparing in that manner.

"I think like my teammates have my back. They know that I've got their back, so they'll be ready to go. We're a team and it's the next man up mentality. So you have to step up and get ready to play."

Cassel said the Titans will be ready to play.

Coming off a disappointing loss to the Jaguars, the team wants to finish on a high note, he said.

"There's no doubt," Cassel said. "I mean, we play this game to compete. We play this game to win games on Sundays. I think everybody in there, they're going to be ready to play come Sunday. We're at our home field in front of our home fans. We know we've got our work cut out for us. This is a great Houston defense. This is a great Houston team. Obviously, they're the division winners this year. We've got to get ready to play."

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