Titans QB Ryan Tannehill Prepares for Panthers With "Heavy Heart"


NASHVILLE – Ryan Tannehill found out last Wednesday his father-in-law had passed away unexpectedly.

The Titans quarterback was in Texas yesterday for the funeral.

In between, Tannehill prepared for the team's game on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he guided the Titans to a victory.

As he prepares for this Sunday's game against the Panthers, Tannehill acknowledged it hasn't been easy for him and his family.

"He was just a great man all the way around, through and through," Tannehill said of his father-in-law, John. "He loved so well, loved everybody. He was joyful, enjoyed the simple things in life – he was just a great man to be around, so it was definitely a tough loss.

"It shockingly came on Wednesday morning, after walk-through I found out and it was tough. It was tough all week. Yesterday (we) had the funeral back in Texas. So it's been a tough week for my family and myself. So really I'm just trying to lock in when I am in the building and on the practice field on the task at hand and completely focus on what I have to do. But it's a tough week and you have heavy hearts and a lot of sadness."

Tannehill made the news of his father-in-law's death public following the team's 27-23 win over the Buccaneers. Tannehill completed 21-of-33 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns in the contest.

In an Instagram post, he said words from fellow Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota helped comfort him.

"This has been a tough week for our family," Tannehill said in the post. "Lauren's father John unexpectedly passed on Wednesday, one day after his 55th birthday. He was taken from us too soon. I never told him how great he was, how I looked up to his appreciation of the simple things in life, or how much I looked forward to every time he came in town. I know he's in a better place now, but man we are really going to miss him down here. Marcus told me this week: "For some reason, sometimes God takes takes his best home early" and it couldn't be truer in this case. Such a great man all the way around. He told me on Tuesday that he wanted a win this week for his bday. This one's for you. Love you, John."

The Titans face the Panthers on Sunday in Charlotte, when Tannehill will make his third consecutive start. The Titans are 2-0 since Tannehill replaced Mariota for the Oct. 20 contest vs. the Chargers.

Tannehill has thrown five touchdown passes vs. just one interception in the past two games, and the Titans are 6-of-6 in the red zone in his two starts.

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