Marcus Mariota’s recovery from surgery to repair a broken fibula has been measured not so much in a timetable, but in benchmarks.
Monday was another benchmark of sorts for Mariota as he arrived along with the majority of his Tennessee Titans teammates for the opening of phase one of the off-season workout program.
While Mariota’s teammates will work out and eventually do more football-related work as the program progresses, the Titans quarterback will continue to rehab from the surgery that was initially said to be about a four-to-five month process.
“It’s important to be here, because together, you’re building the foundations that you’re going to use throughout the entire year,” Mariota said Monday. “You’re building the chemistry and the camaraderie that’s going to make this team successful. I’m happy to be here, and I’m excited to be here. I’m sure all the guys are.”
As for the actual benchmarks in his recovery from the Dec. 24, 2016 injury, Mariota has gone from being on a scooter right after the surgery, to crutches, a walking boot and now to jogging on the leg and working to revive the muscles in his leg.
“It’s more of kind of working back those muscles that were kind of stagnant for the two months I was in the cast. It’s kind of building those foundations back up, and I think we’re in a good place,” Mariota said. “I understand that I’ve got a lot of time to get my body right, and that’s my goal.”
As for the next step, Mariota hopes to begin running in about two to three weeks, though no firm timetable has been set.
“Running, that’s the next one, that’s what I’m working to. Again, there are things where that have allowed me to push the envelope a little bit whether it’s jogging or doing some other stuff on the treadmills, and things like that. For me, that’s my next benchmark,” he said.
Coach Mike Mularkey, himself in a walking boot following his own foot surgery, said Mariota looks good and appears ahead of schedule.
‘You would not know he’s had the extent of the injury he has had. He’s doing good. He’s on track. I”m not going to forecast when he’s going to start doing normal functional exercises, but he’s doing good. He’s ahead of schedule, but I’m not going to put a timeline out there,” Mularkey said.
Running back DeMarco Murray said he caught a few passes recently from Mariota and said the Titans quarterback looks solid to him.
“We’ve been able to throw a couple of times, and he looks good. Obviously it’s not 11 on 11, but just running routes on air, he looks good to me. He’s putting it where it should be,” Murray said.
For Mariota, it marked the first lengthy injury rehab-wise of his career, and he said that staying positive was important in the process.
“Coming off the cast and not being able to walk around, it’s different, but that’s part of it. When we sign up to play this game, we understand what can happen. For me, I was never negative at any point in time,” he said. “I was just focused on what I could do and how I could get better every day. Again, I just progressed through as I got from one step to the next, and it felt good. You felt like you were accomplishing things. I’m doing everything in my power to get healthy, and I’m going to continue to do that up till the season.”