NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was limited in Thursday's practice, but coach Mike Vrabel remained optimistic about his chances of playing on Sunday against the Texans.
Mariota didn't finish Sunday's season opener against the Dolphins after suffering an elbow injury. He was a full participant in Wednesday's session, but the team decided to scale back his work a day later.
"He's about the same, and so we felt like we needed to probably get Blaine (Gabbert) some reps just to be able to evaluate the quarterback situation as we got closer to the end of the week," Vrabel said. "So that was why he was limited, just because he didn't get the normal reps that he would normally get.
"Just being able to evaluate which quarterback is going to be able to give us the best chance at the end of the week, especially on Sunday."
Mariota was injured after taking a hit by Dolphins defensive lineman William Hayes, a former Titan. Mariota had just handed the ball off to running back Derrick Henry, and he didn't have the ball when he was hit.
After initially trying to come back and play, Mariota was eventually replaced for good by Gabbert.
Mariota finished the contest 9-of-16 for 103 yards, with a 36.2 passer rating and the two interceptions. Gabbert was 11-of-22 for 117 yards, and he guided a second half drive.
Mariota said on Wednesday he doesn't think velocity will be a problem, and said he's working through some of the symptoms, including some slight tingling.
Vrabel was asked on Thursday if he feels Mariota will be the quarterback who gives the team the best chance to win on Sunday.
"Right now it is," Vrabel replied. "Right now it is, but that can change and we'll see how things go here as we get closer to game day."
The Tennessee Titans take the field for practice on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)