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Titans QB Marcus Mariota Ready to Face Steelers on TNF



NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Marcus Mariota is feeling just fine physically.

The Titans quarterback was a full participant in Tuesday's practice, and is ready to go for Thursday night's game against the Steelers. Mariota suffered ankle and shoulder injuries after being tackled near the end of Sunday's game against the Bengals, but he's had no issues since.

"I feel good," Mariota said Tuesday.

His biggest challenge is facing the Steelers defense on a short week.

Pittsburgh is ranked second in the NFL in total defense (2nd vs. pass, 11th vs. run).

"Well, it is a challenge, but at the same time you've just got to continue to prepare and get ready to go. When the game is set to kickoff, you've just got to be in the best mindset," Mariota said.

"They find ways to get pressure from a lot of different angles. They find ways to scheme you up and cause matchup problems. For us, we'll have to communicate and make sure everyone is on the same page."

Mariota has performed well in previous games on Thursday night, and in primetime.

In two career Thursday night games, Mariota has completed 40-of-57 passes (70.2%) with two touchdowns and no interceptions, for a 108.9 rating. He also has a rushing touchdown.

Mariota has played in three primetime games during his career, including a Week 6 contest against the Colts this season. He's completed 63-of-89 passes for 807 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Mariota is 2-1 in his primetime starts.

Among NFL passers with at least three primetime games since the beginning of the 2015 season, Mariota's 105.4 passer rating ranks fifth in the NFL.

"I really just take them all the same, I don't weigh one heavier than the other," Mariota said of the primetime contests. I look forward to this opportunity with Pittsburgh and can't wait to play."

As a fan of the game, Mariota said he's been impressed with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger over the years. Since 2015, Roethlisberger's 121.7 passer rating in six primetime games is the best in the NFL during that span, followed by Matt Ryan (109.3 in six games), Tom Brady (106.6 in 12 games), Drew Brees (105.5 in six games) and Mariota.

"Just a competitor,'' Mariota said of Roethlisberger. "He's played banged up, he's found ways to win, he's made big throws in every game and always seems to find a way to win. When you have a guy like that, it's very impressive and it's fun to watch."

Titans players take the field for Tuesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

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