NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota still has a ways to go on his road to recovery.
So far, so good, Titans coach Mike Mularkey said.
Still, Mariota has been faced with challenges.
"He's trying not to kill himself on his little cart,'' Mularkey said with a smile. "But otherwise he is doing well. I've talked to him a few times. I know he is anxious to start rehabbing.
"I'll probably have to pull the reins back on him because he is going to go above and beyond, just like he does here, to come back stronger than ever. But Marcus is doing well."
Mariota suffered a fractured right fibula in the team's December 24 contest at Jacksonville, and had surgery the following week. He had a checkup on Wednesday, and continues to make progress.
The quarterback's leg cannot bear any weight until the end of next month, however, a period of eight weeks after surgery. It's the first stage of what Mularkey earlier said would be a 4-5 month recovery process. Mariota has been wearing a cast, and has been getting around on a knee walker/scooter since the injury. After two months, he'll be able to start the rehabilitation process.
When Mariota left Nashville recently, Mularkey said he was in a good place from a mental standpoint. Mularkey said there's nothing he can do in Nashville from a rehabilitation standpoint as he recovers from the injury.
If not for the injury, Mariota would've been headed to next week's Pro Bowl in Orlando. He was a first alternate during the voting process. Earlier this week, Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith made the team as an alternate.
"Marcus would be playing in the Pro Bowl, and I hate it for him that he can't,'' Mularkey said. "But with Marcus, it's never about him. He was asked to talk to the media when the year was over with and his first comment was, 'I don't want people to think it is always about me.' And I like that about him. It's always the way he's been and his success hasn't changed him."
Mariota completed 276-of-451 passes for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 95.6 passer rating in 2016. He added 60 rushing attempts for 349 yards and two touchdowns in 2016.
It was a positive step, Mularkey said.
"It didn't look like it was Year 2 for Marcus,'' Mularkey said. "He looked like an old veteran with a lot of the things he did. The one thing about him – and he was like our team – he wouldn't let bad plays, bad game, deter him from coming back and playing at a high level the next week.
"He's a true leader, and I think a lot of the things we did offensively helped him grow more. And he's just going to keep growing."
TitansOnline.com looks back at Marcus Mariota's second NFL season in 2016. (AP Photos)