Titans QB Marcus Mariota Continues to Make Progress

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INDIANAPOLIS –** Marcus Mariota is making daily improvement in his recovery from a fractured fibula.

Since the injury, the Titans quarterback has gone through casts, and maneuvered around in a scooter. More recently, he moved into a walking boot. He's two months removed from surgery.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey has been in contact with Mariota all the way through, but NFL rules restrict what they're able to talk about these days.

"You cannot talk football,'' Mularkey said from the NFL Combine on Wednesday. "No football. It is a dead period. You can talk about anything (except football). You can talk about his health."

So, what about that beard Mariota is growing once again? At an event for season-ticket holders last week, Mariota appeared on a video screen with a pretty healthy beard as he thanked fans for their support. Has Mularkey asked him about that?

"I am going to talk to him about that,'' Mularkey said with a smile. "I am going to talk to him about that."

Mularkey on Wednesday gave an update on Mariota, who suffered a fractured fibula in a Week 16 contest at Jacksonville.

The head coach said Mariota is home now, with his family. He's spent a lot of time in Oregon, where he's doing the early portion of his rehab.

"(Players) don't have to be back until April 17th, and that's when Phase One starts and that's all voluntary,'' Mularkey said of the team's offseason program. "(But) we know what is going on with Marcus and his rehab daily. We do a good job of staying in touch with their training staff and are made aware of everything that is logged. … We know what is going on. He is in a boot, walking around in a boot."

Mariota completed 276-of-451 passes for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 95.6 passer in 2016. The quarterback added 60 rushing attempts for 349 yards and two touchdowns.

While his availability for the offseason work remains uncertain, Mariota is expected to be ready for training camp.

"I feel pretty good about it,'' Mularkey said of Mariota's timetable. "You have to trust the doctor's words, and if you know Marcus like we do, we believe with the way he goes about his business he'll be prepared. He is not going to overdo it, he has been told to be careful, and be smart about it.

"Our No.1 goal is to make sure he is under center when we open up opening day. I am not going to put a timeframe on when that first practice or when that first (OTA) will be. I can't do that because every player is different in how they recover, and it's difficult to do."

Even if Mariota isn't able to take part in some of the offseason work, Mularkey expects Mariota to stay up to speed with what the team is doing.

The Titans will begin training camp in late July.

"He is doing that right now,'' Mularkey said. "He has film from last year and he is constantly working. He is doing a lot on his own."

Titans GM Jon Robinson, head coach Mike Mularkey make their media rounds at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

TitansOnline.com looks back at some current and former Titans players taking part in the NFL Scouting Combine. (AP Photos)

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