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Jon Krawczynski / AP Sports Writer, Published August 29 2013

Titans play many of offensive starters, but Vikings still win

MINNEAPOLIS – Tennessee coach Mike Munchak gambled by playing much of his starting offense in the final preseason game.

Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier wanted no part of that, and was reminded just how dangerous the NFL can be when one of his backups was carted off the field in the second quarter.

Jake Locker went 3-for-5 for 31 yards and led the Titans (1-3) to a field goal on the opening drive of a 24-23 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.

Hoping to avoid a spot on the practice squad, Rusty Smith completed 13 of 21 passes for 178 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was 5-for-5 for 61 yards and a touchdown.

Marcus Sherels returned a kick 109 yards for a touchdown and intercepted a pass in a last-ditch effort to make the team for the Vikings, who lost offensive lineman Seth Olsen to a scary neck injury.

Olsen was taken off the field on a stretcher after linebacker Scott Solomon’s knee collided with Olsen’s helmet. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and gave a thumbs-up with his left hand as he was wheeled off the field. There was no immediate word on his condition.

Munchak took the unusual approach of playing his starting quarterback, starting offensive line and several of his most important skill position players in the fourth preseason game.

Tennessee 3 14 3 3 – 23

Minnesota 0 14 7 3 – 24

First Quarter

Ten – FG Bironas 28, 6:01.

Second Quarter

Min – Asiata 1 run (Walsh kick), 14:57.

Ten – Hunter 17 pass from Fitzpatrick (Bironas kick), 7:35.

Min – Banyard 11 pass from Bethel-Thompson (Walsh kick), 2:29.

Ten – Doyle 2 pass from Smith (Bironas kick), :26.

Third Quarter

Min – Sherels 109 kickoff return (Walsh kick), 14:48.

Ten – FG Bironas 29, 3:20.

Fourth Quarter

Ten – FG Bironas 24, 12:53.

Min – FG Walsh 25, 1:38.

A – 62,603.

Ten Min

First downs 27 20

Total Net Yards 417 342

Rushes-yards 41-147 28-114

Passing 270 228

Punt Returns 1-0 0-0

Kickoff Returns 0-0 2-141

Interceptions Ret. 1-9 1-0

Comp-Att-Int 21-31-1 22-29-1

Sacked-Yards Lost 0-0 2-7

Punts 1-31.0 1-46.0

Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-1

Penalties-Yards 3-20 3-15

Time of Possession 33:40 26:20

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Tennessee, Reynaud 11-56, Parmele 17-46, Battle 10-38, Smith 2-5, Locker 1-2. Minnesota, Banyard 13-62, Asiata 8-32, Line 4-18, Bethel-Thompson 3-2.

PASSING: Tennessee, Smith 13-21-1-178, Fitzpatrick 5-5-0-61, Locker 3-5-0-31. Minnesota, Bethel-Thompson 19-26-1-187, Cassel 3-3-0-48.

RECEIVING: Tennessee, Doyle 5-48, Hunter 4-45, Parmele 4-37, Ross 2-64, Williams 2-31, Preston 2-28, Battle 1-11, Thompson 1-6. Minnesota, Banyard 7-54, Webb 5-38, R.Smith 2-52, Ford 2-21, Carlson 1-19, Thielen 1-17, S.Burton 1-14, Love 1-10, Anderson 1-9, Asiata 1-1.

MISSED FIELD GOALS: Minnesota, Walsh 42 (WL).