Titans QB Marcus Mariota Working His Way Back from Injury, but Status for Sunday Still Unknown


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota said he's seen improvement as he works his way back from the elbow injury that kept him out of Sunday's game.

But he acknowledged on Wednesday he still feels some numbness and tingling in his fingers as a result of the injury.

Mariota practiced on Wednesday, wearing a glove with two open fingers on his right hand. He was listed on the Injury Report as a limited participant.

"It is getting better," Mariota said. "It is frustrating, and it is hard because it is one of those things where you can't really do a whole lot (to help it). It will kind of calm down and feel better as it wants to. But it is getting better, and I am glad I was able to be out there today.

"Honestly, I think it's close. But we're just going to take it one day at a time."

Mariota was active but didn't play on Sunday vs. the Texans. Back-up quarterback Blaine Gabbert got the start, and guided the Titans to a 20-17 win at Nissan Stadium. He was awarded a game ball for his performance.

Mariota, who is dealing with the lingering effects of an elbow injury, said he checks his hand each morning when he wakes up. Mariota said the whole hand is affected by the injury "but the numbness and the (tingling) is a couple of fingers. The weakness is the whole hand, and that is what I am working on."

Mariota said he's trying to build the strength back in his hand, and he provided this perspective on what he's dealing with as it relates to the injury:

"The way they explained it to me is it's like when you strum a guitar string, when that string settles down, that is kind of similar to how my nerve is," he said. "My nerve has kind of been strummed, and it's going to take a while to settle down.

"I think every single day it is being out here, trying to throw and see where it's at. … As the week continues on, hopefully it will continue to calm down."

On Wednesday, Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Mariota's status "is about the same".

Mariota and Gabbert split reps on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's game vs the Jaguars.

"All you can do is make sure you get guys ready that can play in the game for anything that may come up," Vrabel said, "and then make a decision that is in the best interest of the team late in the week."

Mariota continues to get treatment. He said he knows coaches and trainers are watching him "and ultimately we'll all come together and make a decision."

Mariota didn't finish the season opener against the Dolphins after suffering the elbow injury. He was a full participant in last Wednesday's session leading up to the game vs. Houston, but the team decided to scale back his work on Thursday and then again on Friday.

Mariota was injured when taking a hit by Dolphins defensive lineman William Hayes. Mariota had just handed the ball off to running back Derrick Henry, and he didn't have the ball when he was hit.

Gabbert, an eight-year veteran, completed 13-of-20 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's contest.

He engineered a 12-play, 62-yard drive that was capped off by kicker Ryan Succop's game-winning field goal with one minute left.

"It was exciting," Mariota said of the game. "It's awesome to get a win. I thought Blaine stepped up and made some big plays for us. At the same time, it is an exciting game. The work that you put in week in and week out, you want to be able to feel that success.

"I was just happy, and it was awesome to be a part of that. Obviously you would like to be on the field, but at the same time you are still much a part of the team, and it felt good to get that win for sure."

The Tennessee Titans take the field for practice on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

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