October 19, 2015 / 4:43 AM / 3 years ago

Titans coach slams Dolphin end for hit on QB Mariota

Oct 18, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) is sacked by Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon (50) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - A Miami Dolphins player tried to injure Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota, Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt claimed after his team lost their National Football League game on Sunday.

Whisenhunt made the accusation against Dolphin defensive end Olivier Vernon, who hit Mariota late and low in the second quarter, after the quarterback had disposed of the ball.

“That’s not the way you play football. I think it was done with the idea of trying to hurt our quarterback...,” Whisenhunt told reporters

Mariota is a rookie NFL quarterback who was taken second in the 2015 draft after a stellar career at the University of Oregon, where he won the 2014 Heisman Trophy awarded to the outstanding player in collegiate football.

He incurred an injury to his left knee but after receiving treatment, returned to the game wearing a brace.

Mariota, who was sacked five times as the Titans lost 38-10, is expected to undergo tests on Monday to determine the extent of the injury.

He was more forgiving that his coach.

“I don’t think it was malicious,” Mariota said, adding that Vernon had personally apologized for the hit.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by John O'Brien

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