Saturday, September 22, 2001

O'Donnell gets start at QB for Titans

The Associated Press

        NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans quarterback Steve McNair could be healthy enough by Sunday to play against Jacksonville, but he will not start.

        McNair watched Friday's workout in tennis shoes and a sweat jacket and has not thrown a pass since his shoulder was injured in the Sept.9 season-opening loss to Miami.

        Coach Jeff Fisher said earlier in the week if McNair was unable to throw before Friday, Neil O'Donnell would start in Jacksonville. The Titans have put off for now deciding whether McNair can be O'Donnell's backup Sunday.

        “The decision we have now is whether he will be the No.2 or No.3 quarterback for us,” Fisher said. “Unless there's a miracle between now and kickoff, it doesn't make sense to push him.”

        Fisher said in recent days McNair has displayed improved strength in his throwing arm.

        If McNair is listed as the emergency third-string quarterback, Billy Volek would be O'Donnell's backup. Volek, in his second pro season, has yet to throw a pass in a regular-season game.

        O'Donnell is 5-1 as a starter since he signed with the Titans in 1999. He won four of five games during Tennessee's 1999 AFC championship season, including a 20-19 victory at Jacksonville.


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