Skip to main content

Titans take down Eagles, McNabb

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 19, 2006) -- Donovan McNabb's season is over early -- again.

The Philadelphia Eagles lost their star quarterback for the rest of the year with a torn knee ligament in a 31-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

McNabb will have surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and is expected to be sidelined from eight months to one year. It's the third time in five years McNabb has gone down with six or more games remaining in the regular season.

"It's an unfortunate thing," said Jeff Garcia, who replaced McNabb. "Donovan is a competitor, a leader and he was having a great season. He'll be missed."

McNabb was injured on the second play of the second quarter on a seemingly harmless play. He was rolling to his right near the Tennessee sideline and was bumped out of bounds by Kyle Vanden Bosch after throwing an incomplete pass. He grabbed his right knee and was immediately tended to by trainers before being carted off the field.

"If he was running to the sideline trying to get out of bounds, I don't take that shot, but he reared up and tried to throw it and I was trying to get a hand in his face," Vanden Bosch said. "I never play with the intent to get anybody hurt. It's a freak deal."

Without McNabb, the Eagles were no match for the lowly Titans.

Travis Henry had a 70-yard touchdown run, Adam "Pacman" Jones returned a punt 90 yards for a score and Vince Young was efficient.

Garcia was 26-for-48 for 189 yards and one TD filling in for McNabb, who threw an interception in the end zone in the first quarter.

Eagles coach Andy Reid wouldn't say whether Garcia or third-stringer A.J. Feeley would start at Indianapolis next week.

"We didn't take advantage of opportunities, even with Donovan in there," Reid said.

Young, the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft, did more damage with his legs than his arm while helping the Titans (3-7) to their third win in his seven starts. The rookie ran for 49 yards and threw for 101 more and one TD. He completed just 8 of 22 passes.

Henry ran for 143 yards on 18 carries, and Tennessee finished with 209 yards on the ground.

"Just managing the game, that's basically it," Young said.

Young missed the team flight to Philadelphia on Saturday night and had to pay for his own flight. He said he got stuck in traffic behind a funeral procession.

"There will be no extraordinary disciplinary action taken," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "There will be a little fine and we'll move on."

The Titans went ahead 17-6 on their first play of the third quarter. From the Tennessee 30, Henry took a handoff, burst through the line, broke a few tackles and sprinted into the end zone for his longest career run.

Jones, suspended for one game by the team earlier this month, made it 24-6 when he broke at least five tackles on his punt return a few minutes later.

Garcia tossed a 5-yard TD pass to L.J. Smith to cut it to 24-13 with 9:11 left, but the Eagles couldn't rally against the worst-ranked defense in the NFL.

Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck scored on a lateral on a fumble return by Randy Starks in the final minute for the final margin.

With McNabb out, the Eagles (5-5) will have a difficult time staying in the playoff chase. McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowler, entered the game tied with Peyton Manning for the league lead with 18 TD passes and was second with 2,569 yards passing.

McNabb had surgery for a sports hernia and missed the final seven games last season when Philadelphia finished 6-10 a year after going to the Super Bowl. McNabb also sat out the final six regular-season games of the 2002 season with a broken ankle before returning for the playoffs.

The Eagles were 2-5 with Mike McMahon filling in for McNabb last year and went 5-1 with Koy Detmer and Feeley starting the last six games in '02.

"I've been in this game long enough. I have familiarity with the offense. It's just a matter of catching up to speed," said Garcia, who was a three-time Pro Bowl selection in five seasons with San Francisco earlier this decade.

Even with McNabb, the Eagles struggled at the start. Tennessee scored on its opening drive to take a 7-0 lead. Young stepped away from Darren Howard and tossed a 14-yard TD pass to Ben Troupe two plays after Henry ran 43 yards to the Eagles 16.

The Eagles wasted an opportunity after Mike Patterson recovered a fumble at Tennessee's 12. Drew Bennett caught a short pass but lost the ball after he ran into a teammate.

It appeared Philadelphia scored on a 5-yard pass from McNabb to Brian Westbrook, but the Titans challenged the play and the officials ruled Westbrook's knee was down at the half-yard line.

On the next play, McNabb underthrew an open Smith and Stephen Tulloch intercepted it end zone.

Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth played his first game since returning from a five-game suspension for kicking Dallas center Andre Gurode in the face with his cleats in a loss to Dallas on Oct. 1.

The Eagles had chances for big plays on defense, but Brian Dawkins and Lito Sheppard each dropped interceptions that could've been returned for TDs.

Notes: Westbrook ran for 102 yards, reaching triple digits for the second straight game for the first time in his career. He also had a career-best 12 catches for 46 yards. ... Eagles CB Rod Hood was a surprise on the inactive list. Hood has been a valuable nickel back, but his role has been reduced since the arrival of William James.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.