Quarterback Marcus Mariota is expected to make his scheduled start Monday night after being a full participant in Friday’s practice when the Tennessee Titans travel to face the AFC South-leading Houston Texans.
Mariota, who suffered a neck stinger in last Sunday’s loss at Indianapolis and did not play in the second half, was limited on Wednesday and Thursday, but got the go-ahead from head coach Mike Vrabel on Friday that he will be under center Monday, barring an unforeseen setback.
“He felt better. We’ve got to keep working. … He looked good today, but that’s why practice. You try to always improve and get better and fix the things you didn’t have right,” Vrabel said. “He was not limited. I would imagine that Marcus is going to be the starting quarterback after being not limited, and full (participation) and probably hope to start.”
Offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur also pronounced Mariota ready to go after a full practice Friday.
“He was limited the first two days of practice. Today he was full, and to be honest with you, I couldn’t really tell that anything was wrong. He was full go, took all the reps and is ready to go,” LaFleur said.
Mariota missed the first meeting between the Titans and Texans on Sept. 16 in Nashville with a nerve injury to his throwing hand suffered the week before in Miami. The current injury is not related to the previous one.
While Mariota was a full participant on Friday, defensive coordinator Dean Pees was absent from the afternoon practice. Pees, who spent Sunday night in an Indianapolis hospital due to a medical issue suffered in last Sunday’s game, returned to practice Wednesday and Thursday, but Vrabel sent him home to rest on Friday.
“Dean was tired today, and I asked him to go home. I wanted him to get some rest. I’m trying to get Dean to Monday night, just like I am all the players,” Vrabel said. “The plan was simply, ‘Hey, Dean, why do you go get some rest? Why don’t you go get some sleep?’ That’s what I felt like was best to try to get him to the game. Just like I would player that I would withhold from practice or limit his reps or make sure he got treatment at certain times. We wanted him to get some rest.”
Also, left tackle Taylor Lewan was out of Friday’s practice due to illness. Running back David Fluellen remains out with a knee injury. Receiver Taywan Taylor (foot) and center Ben Jones (shoulder) were limited for the second straight day.