The winner of Tennessee's Week 17 matchup with Indianapolis will advance to the AFC playoffs.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is not expected to play on Sunday night as he nurses a "stinger", according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Blaine Gabbert will likely earn the start against Indianapolis, with the winner claiming an AFC playoff spot. The loser will miss the postseason.
Marcua Mariota not expected to play tonight for Titans vs. Colts in AFC South game in which winner advances to playoffs. Mariota's "stinger" puts him at risk for further damage, per sources. Blaine Gabbert expected to start. More to come on @ESPN and Sunday NFL Countdown.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) December 30, 2018
Mariota was limited in Tennessee's practice this week, battling the stinger as well as a foot injury. He will attempt to throw before the Titans face the Colts, but additional damage to Mariota's arm would, "put Mariota's ability to throw the football at significant risk beyond this weekend," per Mortensen.
The eight-year veteran is 2–0 as a starter with Tennessee in 2018. He also came off the bench to complete seven of 11 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown against Washington in a Week 16 victory.
Both Tennessee and Indianapolis are 9–6, trailing Houston in the AFC South. The winner of Sunday night's matchup will win the division if the Texans lose to Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon. If the Texans take care of business, either the Colts or Titans will be the No. 6 seed in the AFC.
The Titans will host the Colts at LP Field in Nashville. Kickoff is slated for 8:20 p.m. ET.