Quarterback Marcus Mariota was back and practicing fully for the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday at Arizona State, staying there in preparation for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Mariota, who suffered a sprained knee in last Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, was expected to be limited on Wednesday, but was a full participant.
Mariota has been bothered by a variety of injuries, dating back to the broken fibula he suffered on Christmas Eve last year. Coach Mike Mularkey said Monday that Mariota was probably affected by the fibula injury earlier this year, and that the hamstring and now knee injuries have been issues of late for him. There was a report from The Zone’s Paul Kuharsky Wednesday that Mariota might need surgery after the season to clean up the right ankle from the 2016 injury and surgery.
For his part on Wednesday, Mariota, who has struggled this season with a career-high 14 interceptions, he didn’t want to reveal much about his health.
“First of all, I don’t even like talking about injuries. Secondly, everyone is playing (hurt). There are 53 guys in there that have to deal with something, and I’m just one of those guys,” Mariota said.
Mularkey said that the knee affected Mariota on Sunday. He slid awkwardly on a scramble and the leg folded underneath him, causing a mild sprain. But Mariota on Wednesday said he won’t let injuries be an excuse for his shortcomings in games.
“Whatever happens, happens, I just have to go out there and execute what the coaches want me to do,” Mariota said. “Obviously, there’s certain things that you can’t do when maybe somebody is banged up. The coaches call the plays, the players have to go out there and execute.”
Mariota’s frustration was visible in his post-game press conference Sunday, as he said he was “pissed off.” He started his Wednesday media session by apologizing for his attitude in the presser – apparently after a scolding from his mother.
“I just wanted to say I’m sorry for the way I handled the press conference. I know not everybody that was there is here. I was rude and inappropriate, and I just wanted to say that I apologize for that,” Mariota said. “Yeah. It was funny because I got an earful of it from my mom. That’s how I was raised and I appreciate you guys for understanding.”
Mularkey said he was not surprised that Mariota apologized, and that his quarterback was upset over his performance and losing to the Cardinals.
He also said that the injuries that Mariota has suffered, while not cumulative in his opinion, do affect the game plans and how effective he can be.
“The times that he’s had those injuries, it’s limited to whether we’ve known and we’ve had a game plan or it’s happened in games and we’ve had to adjust the game plan,” Mularkey said. “It’s something that you’ve got to do for everybody. Even when (Taylor) Lewan went out, we had to do some things differently that we had planned and couldn’t do. That’s just the way it works, that’s any player.”
Left tackle Taylor Lewan (back spasms) sat out Wednesday’s work, but might practice Thursday. Also, safety Johnathan Cyprien was out with back spasms as well.
Outside linebacker Derrick Morgan, who missed Sunday’s game with a knee sprain, was limited while tight end Phillip Supernaw was out of practice with an ankle injury.