NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Marcus Mariota has been in chemistry class with his receivers since the end of July, preparing for the start of the 2017 season.
On Tuesday, two of his targets returned to the practice field after missing time – Corey Davis and Eric Decker.
So, do they pick up where they left off? Will it take a while to get back on the same page?
Titans players take the field for Tuesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)
"It's like riding a bike," Mariota said. "You've just got to go through it. I look forward to getting back to work with those guys and I think we'll be fine."
Davis, the fifth overall pick of the NFL Draft, suffered a hamstring injury the first week of training camp and had been sidelined ever since. Decker, a seven-year veteran, suffered an ankle injury earlier this month, and he's missed the last two preseason games, along with practices.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he's hopeful both players will be ready for the regular season opener against the Raiders on September 10. Next week will be a critical one from a practice standpoint since neither player has worked extensively with Mariota, who's headed into his third NFL season.
"It's important (to get them back)," Mariota said. "I thought they both looked good, they're running well. The faster they continue to get out there, the faster we can get better as a group and get ready to go."
Mariota has spent time with both receivers off the practice field.
He said his conversations with Davis have been productive. On the first day of training camp, Davis and Decker were on the field alongside Rishard Matthews in three receiver sets.
"It's more just getting to see if he understands everything, making sure he's in the game plans, he's engaged, which he has been," Mariota said of Davis. "I think for him it's just going to be coming out here, getting healthy, getting ready to go. I think he'll hit the ground ready.
"I think having conversations as you go through the film, maybe there was a certain route adjustment that you wanted to see, certain things like that just so he understands what we're seeing as quarterbacks. I think we've been able to do that, I think it's been an open line of communication. I think he's done a great job of being engaged, being part of the team. Once he gets going again, I think he'll be ready to go."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Chicago Bears in Week 3 of the preseason on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones Photography, AP)