On Wednesday, Titans head coach Mike Mularkey appeared on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access and spoke with Lindsay Rhodes.
One of the hottest discussion topics concerned our franchise quarterback, Marcus Mariota, and the status of his recovery from a fractured fibula.
Here’s what Mularkey had to say when asked to clarify Mariota’s status - is he jogging or is he already running full speed?
“Jogging, yeah he’s jogging. We’re doing some drills with him where he can drop back in our Phase 2, what we’re doing right now with the passing game, and you know, again, it’s all [against] air, nothing competitive, so we’re being very smart with him, but I think he’s ahead of schedule right now.”
“Doing some drills...” This is excellent news - he’s doing drills already!
Then came the really great part:
LR: “When do you think you will have him on the field ready to do everything you need him to do?”
MM: “We’ll look at training camp right now. There’ll be some things in the OTAs that we feel like he’ll be able to do. We may adjust our practice schedules a little bit really to get him some more reps in some capacity, but towards the end of OTAs we’ll see how he’s doing, you know we got another month, month-and-a-half, and then for sure I think he’ll be ready for training camp.”
(The NFL doesn’t allow the embedding of their videos, so if you want to watch Mularkey discuss Mariota, click here.)
What’s interesting is that both Mularkey and Jon Robinson have been very non-committal up to this point when discussing Mariota’s timetable for recovery, continuously stating that the most important thing is to have Mariota back on the field for the start of week one. Based on Mularkey’s comments, it seems Mariota will be back on the field well before then.
The fact that he’ll participate in at least part of OTAs is extremely encouraging, and even more, Mularkey essentially confirmed that Mariota will be a full-go by the time training camp rolls around.
On Friday, after the first practice of rookie minicamp, Mularkey again discussed Mariota’s status:
Mularkey said Marcus Mariota still not running full speed. Said there is no rush @Titans— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) May 12, 2017
One of my earliest fears when Mariota suffered the injury last Christmas Eve was that he wouldn’t be healthy in time to work in the offseason with what we all expected to be a revamped receiving corps. Fortunately, I don’t think that is anything to worry about:
.@Titans might do more 7 on 7 in OTAs so Mariota can work on timing w WRs, Mularkey said— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) May 12, 2017
Mariota is a hard-worker who undoubtedly is doing everything he can to get healthy as soon as possible, so of course it should be no surprise that he is well ahead of schedule.