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McNabb tears ACL in right knee, Eagles lose to Titans

Nov 19, 2006 - 9:57 PM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- After losing Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles were embarrassed by the Tennessee Titans.

McNabb left in the second quarter with a torn ACL in his right knee as the Eagles endured a 31-13 beating at the hands of the Titans.

Trying to stay in the thick of a tight NFC East race, the Eagles (5-5) were dealt a severe blow when their five-time Pro Bowl quarterback was carted off the field in the second quarter.

Eagles coach Andy Reid said in his postgame news conference that McNabb would undergo surgery in the near future.

"Donovan McNabb has an ACL tear," Reid said. "It's an eight months to a year injury, so he's done for the year.

"It looked (serious). Especially when he stood up, I knew it was a little bit more than I thought it was."

McNabb rolled to his right near the Tennessee sideline and landed awkwardly on the leg after being bumped out of bounds by defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. He tried to put weight on the leg but immediately crumbled to the ground.

"He was going to the sideline and I saw him rearing up to throw it, so you know I don't take that shot if he's running out of bounds," Vanden Bosch said. "I feel bad because there is never any intention to hurt anybody. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to when you pop an ACL. My thoughts and prayers go to him because I've been through it."

Before leaving, McNabb also left his mark on a dismal performance. With the Eagles facing a 3rd-and-goal inside the Titans 1, McNabb threw a terribly underthrown pass in the end zone that was intercepted by rookie linebacker Stephen Tulloch.

"We were in zone coverage and my resposibility is to be up," Tulloch said. "When I saw (L.J.) Smith break out, I just went back on the play. Donovan threw it to me and I made the interception."

"It's very, very unfortunate from the standpoint of what happened to Donovan today," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "I feel very bad for him and the Eagle organization to lose a player of that caliber. He was playing so well up to this point. He'll come back, but obviously that was a huge factor in this ballgame."

Tulloch's interception came after the Titans successfully challenged an apparent five-yard touchdown pass from McNabb to Brian Westbrook. The play was overturned by replay. The Eagles crumbled without their leader, failing to put together any consistent offense under veteran Jeff Garcia, who looked lost under Reid's suspect game plan.

"It had been a while since I had been out there," Garcia said. "I think it will be better for me to have a week of practice under my belt."

Garcia completed 26-of-48 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown.

Philadelphia also allowed huge plays both defensively and on special teams in the third quarter en route to losing for the fourth time in five games.

On the Titans' first offensive play of the third quarter, Travis Henry busted up the middle for a 70-yard touchdown run to give Tennessee a 17-6 lead.

"It felt great," Henry said. "The (offensive) line did a great job. I made one guy miss and it was off to the races."

Henry rushed for 143 yards on 18 carries.

"We felt like if we could run (Henry) for four quarters, we'd have a chance," Fisher said. "Looking back on the Eagles recent losses, teams were able to keep close and run the football. That was our plan all week long and fortunately, it worked out for us."

Later in the period, Adam "Pacman" Jones broke numerous tackles on his way to returning a punt 90 yards for a touchdown, giving Tennessee a 24-6 bulge.

"I just made a good play," Jones said. "It was just a freak of nature. That's all I can tell you."

"Outside of those big plays, I thought we shut them down," said Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard, who dropped a potential interception return for a touchdown.

Also in the third quarter, Mike Bartrum's snap went over the head of holder Dirk Johnson while David Akers was setting up for a 36-yard field goal.

"You can't have the mistakes we had today," Reid said. "I've seen this team play without the mistakes and they're a playoff-caliber team. We've got to take care of business."

To top things off, center Jamaal Jackson snapped the ball over Garcia's head with under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Keith Bulluck took a lateral from defensive tackle Randy Starks and scored on an 18-yard return.

"You know it definitely would have been a different game if number five was still in the game," said Bulluck, who was a former teammate of McNabb's at Syracuse. "When five went out, I told my defense, 'it's time to sink our teeth into them because you know the last thing (McNabb) told me was that he would be back (in the game).'

"I just kept looking at that tunnel, hoping that he didn't come out like (former NBA player) Willis Reed."

Rookie Vince Young also threw for a score for the Titans (3-7), who have two of their three wins against the NFC East. They also won at Washington.

Young completed 8-of-22 passes for 101 yards. He also rushed for 49 yards on six attempts and commented on McNabb's injury.

"He'a a great guy," Young said. "We talk every once in a while when we get a chance. At the draft, he was sitting there, talking to me for a long time.

"He's a strong guy. He'll be back. I'm always going to keep him in my prayers. Me, Keith Bulluck and him are real close, so I'll give him a call and check on him."

Westbrook rushed for 102 yards and had 12 catches for 46 yards.

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