-- HOUSTON -- Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger left Sunday's game against the Houston Texans in the third quarter after suffering a right shoulder injury on a hit by Houston star J.J. Watt. Mettenberger did not return to the game, which the Titans lost, 45-21. The rookie said after the game that he has a Grade 1 AC sprain and will undergo an MRI on Monday in Nashville.
Mettenberger was on a knee for some time on the field with medical personnel, and Watt was nearby checking in. Mettenberger then got up holding his right arm to his body as he left the field and went to the locker room.
Jake Locker replaced Mettenberger and immediately threw an interception. The Titans (2-9) were trailing Houston, 24-7, when Mettenberger left the game. Locker finished Sunday's game with 91 yards on 6-of-12 passing with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Mettenberger started his fifth consecutive game and is in line to be the Titans' long-term starter if the team likes what he delivers for the remainder of the year. He finished with 13 completions in 19 attempts for 184 yards, a touchdown and an interception with a 95.1 passer rating. He said the one sack he absorbed, by Watt, was his fault.
Mattenberger also said it's important to get right back in the lineup.
"You don't want a guy leading the team that's soft or not physically or mentally tough," he said. "I know what I am, I think guys on the team know I'm a tough guy.
"So for me, it's really just getting out there, getting as healthy as I can, putting us in a situation to win football games."
Mettenberger and Watt made headlines earlier this season, when the Pro Bowl defensive lineman publicly criticized the rookie for posting selfies on social media. Watt also mocked Mettenberger by mimicking taking a selfie as part of a sack celebration during the team's previous meeting this season.
Kendall Wright caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Mettenberger before he hurt the shoulder. The receiver's celebration near the wall at the back of the end zone was a pantomimed selfie with the crowd behind him.