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Titans quarterback Young watches practice with strained quadriceps

Vince Young looked like he was in agonizing pain Wednesday. The Titans quarterback grimaced, put his hands on top of his head and pleaded for it to stop.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vince Young looked like he was in agonizing pain Wednesday.

The Titans quarterback grimaced, put his hands on top of his head and pleaded for it to stop.

The problem? Not pain from his strained right quadriceps muscle, but all the questions about the injury and whether it will force him to miss playing his hometown Houston Texans on Sunday.

"It's day to day right now. I can't just tell you I'm playing, then don't play," Young said. "It's like lying not only to my teammates but all the people in the world that want to see me as well."

Young didn't practice Wednesday, and it sounded as if the 2006 Offensive Rookie of the Year won't practice this week. Coach Jeff Fisher said an MRI on Monday showed what they expected -- but wouldn't say if Young could start against the Texans (3-3) without practicing.

"I would be less likely to allow him to go without practice against an unfamiliar opponent. But the decision this week is going to be purely based on his physical condition," Fisher said.

That would be very tough on a quarterback who insisted he has never missed a game because of injury, not in high school or even back to middle school.

Obviously, missing a game against an AFC South opponent wouldn't be easy on the competitive Young.

In fact, not playing in Houston, where he blew kisses to fans after running for the winning touchdown in overtime last December, seemingly would be impossible for the quarterback who has the Titans (3-2) off to their best start since 2003.

Young scolded reporters for hyping a regular season game too much.

"That's in the past now. That game happened last year. That's what everybody wanted to see. There's a whole different team over there. ... It's not all about Vince Young going against the Texans. I'm just tired of hearing that right now," Young said.

One thing is certain: Young is not accustomed to dealing with injuries. He walked out about 40 minutes into the session and watched backup Kerry Collins handle most of the work wearing a hooded sweatshirt. If his right thigh was wrapped, it couldn't be seen under his shorts.

Young hurt his leg Sunday in the third quarter of a 13-10 loss to Tampa Bay as he sprinted to the sideline on a 2-yard scramble.

Fisher said Young is very realistic about the injury, trusting the medical staff's advice and working hard to do his part through treatment. Young received treatment Tuesday and Wednesday, and will be evaluated again Thursday.

"We just have to wait and see," Fisher said. "We can't use anything but time right now. We do have a significant amount of time between the time practice is over on Friday and kickoff. Sometimes that's all it takes with these types of injuries."

If Young can't play Sunday, the 13-year veteran Collins would make his first start since Sept. 24, 2006, a 13-10 loss at Miami that came less than a month after he signed with the Titans. Collins said he feels more comfortable now.

Collins was 14-of-24 for 147 yards last week, including an 86-yard touchdown drive that tied the game before Tampa Bay pulled out the victory.

"I'm sure he's really frustrated certainly going back to Houston and going back to his hometown as much as a competitor as he is," Collins said of Young. "I'm sure he's going to do everything he can to be out there on Sunday. In case he can't go, I'll be ready."

If Young can't start, the Titans likely will promote quarterback Ingle Martin, a 2006 draft pick by Green Bay, from the practice squad to the active roster. They freed up a spot by releasing punter Josh Miller.

Fisher said they likely wouldn't make any roster move until late in the week and it was unlikely the Titans would bring in someone else.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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