Titans QB Marcus Mariota to Return to Starting Role on Sunday vs Eagles


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An improved Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is expected to start this Sunday against the Eagles.

Mariota came off the bench this past Sunday to lead the Titans to a win over the Jaguars after missing the previous week's game against the Texans.

"He is getting better every day," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said on Wednesday. "I think I have mentioned that since the game. He feels like there's a lot of confidence there. It was good work today, which was great to see. And he completed some big throws in the game for us. So it will be critical to have a good week of practice and do the same thing on Sunday."

Mariota was listed as a full participant in Wednesday's practice.

Vrabel said back-up quarterback Blaine Gabbert is still in the concussion protocol, and the team is getting recently signed quarterback Austin Davis ready to back up.

"Marcus will be the starter, and we're obviously excited about that, because he is feeling better," Vrabel said. "And that is really all we were hoping for along the way these last couple of weeks."

Mariota replaced an injured Gabbert in the first quarter of Sunday's game. Gabbert started the contest for the second week in a row in place of Mariota, sidelined since Week 1 and limited in practices because of an elbow injury.

Mariota, wearing a glove with two fingers exposed, completed 12-of-18 passes for 100 yards in the contest, while also running for 51 yards on seven carries. His biggest run of the game came late, when he bolted for 15 yards and a first down in the closing minutes on a third down play.

Vrabel said the Titans believe they won't have to hold anything back from a game plan perspective as it relates to Mariota.

"I hope it continues to get better," Mariota said after today's practice. "We'll just kind of take it one day at a time, see how it goes, and we'll develop a game plan we feel we can execute and just go out there and see."

Mariota said he'd like to eventually get rid of the glove, but he said it helps him with his grip.

On Sunday, his big challenge will be facing a Philadelphia defense that's ranked ninth overall, and first against the run.

"You look across the board, and that front seven is very talented, and they have some guys that are really some of the best players in the league," Mariota said. "We just have to be ready for that. It comes down to being able to take care of your one-on-one matchup and executing."

The Tennessee Titans practice inside the bubble on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

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