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Titans QB Levis leaves OT loss with leg injury

Will Levis Titans Will Levis - The Canadian Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans rookie quarterback Will Levis thinks he avoided serious injury after being awkwardly dragged to the turf during Tennessee's 19-16 overtime loss against the Houston Texans on Sunday.

The key will be how Levis feels Monday when all the adrenaline wears off, especially with the Titans eliminated from playoff contention for a second straight season.

“It could’ve been a lot worse,” Levis said. “It was definitely scarier in the moment than it was, but we will see what the trainers say. But feel all right.”

The Titans quarterback was knocked from the game on Houston's seventh and final sack with 1:49 left in overtime. Texans defensive back Desmond King II wrapped up Levis on third-and-8 and twisted the quarterback to the ground.

King appeared to grab Levis' face mask during the tackle, but officials did not call a penalty.

Levis writhed and reached for his left leg, remaining on the turf while medical staff ran out to evaluate him. Texans defensive end Jonathan Greenard, who led Houston with 2 1/2 sacks, took a knee while trainers attended to Levis.

“I thought it was worse, just how I got kind of rolled up on,” Levis said.

The 33rd pick overall out of Kentucky was helped off the field, initially putting no weight on his left leg, then walked off on his own. He was taken to the medical tent for evaluation, and Levis was jogging around a bit on the sideline. There was no discussion about whether Levis might have returned to the game if Tennessee got the ball back.

“We knew that we weren’t going to really be out there, so it wasn’t even something we discussed,” Levis said.

Houston won on Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 54-yard field goal as time expired.

Levis had been on the injury report with a left foot or ankle issue for at least the past six games.

The Titans lost veteran starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill when he sprained his right ankle in an Oct. 15 loss to Baltimore in London. That was the same ankle that kept him out of five games last season, including the final three.

Tennessee finished that season on a seven-game skid that cost them a third straight AFC South title. The Titans (5-9) have missed the postseason three of Vrabel's six seasons — all because of injuries to starting quarterbacks.

The Titans are starting a pair of rookies on the left side of the offensive line, including the 11th pick overall in Peter Skoronski at left guard. Tennessee's first-year general manager Ran Carthon started trying to fix the line this offseason.

The seven sacks allowed were a season high for Tennessee.

The Titans have allowed 50 sacks this season, one more than last season with three games remaining and among the most in the NFL. Levis has been sacked 27 times in his eight starts. Vrabel said it doesn't matter who has the ball, they have to do a better job of protection.

“We have to do everything that we can to continue to protect the guy with the football," Vrabel said.