Buck Reising, Tennessee Titans reporter and host of Tackling Music City, provides an update on the health of the team’s franchise quarterback.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Marcus Mariota spoke to the assembled media Wednesday at St. Thomas Sports Park to give a status update on his health after injuring his elbow in the Week 1 27-20 loss in Miami to the Dolphins.
Those seeking news of a marked improvement likely left disappointed.
“Well, it’s getting better,” Mariota said Wednesday. “It is frustrating. It is hard because it’s one of those things that you can’t really do a whole lot about. It will calm down and feel better as it wants to. With that being said, it is getting better. I’m glad I was able to be out there today.”
Mariota’s aliment caused him to cede his starting quarterback position to Blaine Gabbert last Sunday, who filled in admirably to beat the visiting Houston Texans 20-17. According to the team’s injury report, Mariota’s practice participation was limited in the team’s first day of Week 3 work. He was seen, however, throwing during individual drills, which is more than he did in the Thursday and Friday ahead of Week 2.
“When I wake up, the first thing I do is kind of mess around with my hand,” said Mariota. “I mean, honestly, I think it’s close. We’re just going to kind of take it one day at a time.”
A point of emphasis in Tennessee’s starting quarterback’s recovery has been building the strength back up in his hand. Mariota described the medical staff’s explanation of his injury “like when you strum a guitar string, when that string settles down, that’s similar to how my nerve is. My nerve has kind of been strummed, so it’s going to take it’s time to settle down.”
Active but not starting for his team’s home opener against Houston, Mariota was seen wearing a glove on his throwing hand for the first time in his career while participating in warm-ups before Gabbert ultimately took the field. Mariota wore it again for practice Wednesday but with a slight alteration. The index and middle fingers of the glove were cut out as a means to experiment with the young quarterback’s grip.
But, as always, the mantra being preached is “next man up.”
“Yeah, I think that’s all you can do, is make sure to get guys ready that could play in the game for anything that may come up,” coach Mike Vrabel said of his quarterback situation. “Then, have to make a decision that you know is in the best interest of the team later in the week.”
Decision-making will be crucial in all aspects heading into Jacksonville to face a divisional foe in Week 3. Facing the Jaguars vaunted defense presents a challenge for whomever the Titans quarterback is on Sunday.