Quarterback Marcus Mariota attended Friday’s practice just two days after surgery on his broken right fibula.
Mariota, who had a scooter type cart to support his injured leg, watched his Tennessee Titans prepare for Sunday’s season finale against the Houston Texans, conversing occasionally with his teammates during the one-hour, 15 minutes session.
Mariota had surgery Wednesday afternoon in Charlotte, N.C., by Dr. Robert Anderson and returned to Nashville Thursday evening to begin his rest and recovery process. While at the facility on Friday, Mariota went through meetings with his teammates and will be at the game on Sunday, though Coach Mike Mularkey said Mariota probably won’t be on the sideline..
“We’re glad to have him back. It didn’t surprise me. I wish he was dressed a little warmer,” Mularkey said. “But it doesn’t surprise me. He wanted to finish that game, and he wanted to finish the season with his teammates. The only way he can finish it now is to be with his teammates, and we want him around. He’s a large reason why we’ve had the success we’ve had.”
As far as going through meetings, Mularkey said that didn’t surprise him either, and that by sitting in on this week’s planning meetings, that Mariota has been a resource for Matt Cassel, who will get the start in his place.
“He’s great for Matt, and he’s like another coach in here,” Mularkey said.
Teammates were happy to see Mariota back with the team on Friday for the Titans’ final practice of the season.
“I’m happy to see he’s doing good and that the surgery went well. He’s in good spirits. He knows he’s got a long off-season and a lot of recovery, but he’s in good hopes and knows he’s going to be good for next season,” said center Ben Jones, who conversed some with Mariota on the practice field.
Receiver Rishard Matthews said it meant a lot not only to Mariota, but also to the team for him to be there.
“Out of everybody in there, I know he wants to be out there the most, but as the leader of this team and to go out there and show support – he just got back in town last night – you saw him out there on his little scooter. It means a lot for him to be out there,” Matthews said.
Cornerback Jason McCourty was limited again on Friday due to his shoulder/chest injury and is questionable for Sunday as he will be a game-time decision.
Long snapper Beau Brinkley was out of practice due to illness, the third Titan in as many days to miss a practice due to sickness. Sean Spence was ill on Wednesday, but returned Thursday. D’Joun Smith was out with a virus on Thursday and was back on Friday.
Also, cornerback LeShaun Sims is out of the concussion protocol and has been cleared to play Sunday. Tight end Jace Amaro was a full participant for the second straight day after being limited Wednesday with a quad injury.
Mularkey also indicated that defensive end Karl Klug’s surgery for a torn left Achilles, which was also performed Wednesday, went well. Klug is expected back by OTAs.