Colts vs. Titans: Marcus Mariota is active and starting on 'Monday Night Football'

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota's absence is officially over after one week. The Titans announced shortly before their divisional showdown with the Indianapolis Colts that Mariota will return to the field and make the start. 

Mariota injured his hamstring against the Houston Texans in Week 4, and missed last week's loss to the Miami Dolphins. Matt Cassel filled in for Mariota during his injury-related absence, completing 25 of 42 passes for 162 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions across the two losses. 

The game-and-a-half-long absence was already the fourth time in three seasons Mariota has had to miss games due to injury. He sat our two games early in his rookie campaign, and also missed the final two games of the year with an MCL sprain. He came back from those ailments to have an excellent sophomore campaign, but fractured his fibula in a Week 16 loss and missed the final game of the year again. He'd had an up-and-down start to 2017 before throwing two picks against the Texans and then leaving the game due to his hamstring ailment. 

The Titans certainly stand a better chance against the Colts with Mariota under center than they would have with Cassel, which is important because they want to keep pace in the AFC South. The winner of the Monday night game will tie the Texans and Jaguars atop the division at 3-3, while the loser will fall into sole possession of last place. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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