NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota has a sprained MCL in his right knee that will keep the rookie out of Sunday's home finale with Houston.

Interim coach Mike Mularkey said Monday that Mariota will be re-evaluated after that game and wants to play the season finale at Indianapolis on Jan. 3.

Mularkey said Mariota has not been ruled out of the season finale. The coach said Mariota's injury is less serious than the sprained left knee that kept the quarterback out of two games earlier this season and the rookie wants to play.

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"Certainly if there's any issues, if we have any concerns as we did (Sunday), we would not play him," Mularkey said. "If there's any way he was going to not be capable of playing, no way."

Mariota was hurt when sacked for the third time at 10:32 of the second quarter in a 33-16 loss at New England. Mularkey said the rookie wanted to return against the Patriots, but the Titans chose to be cautious and protect Mariota.

Zach Mettenberger, 0-8 as a starter, will start against Houston (7-7). This will be his fourth start against the Texans who sacked Mettenberger seven times Nov. 1, prompting ownership to fire Ken Whisenhunt two days later.