Titans QB Mariota sits out practice, hopes to play vs Colts
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota said he is doing “everything in my power” to be available Sunday night against Indianapolis with a playoff berth on the line.
Mariota did not practice Wednesday with what the Titans listed as neck and foot injuries. Mariota declined to detail what symptoms he’s still dealing with after being hurt on a sack late in the first half of Tennessee’s win over Washington last weekend.
On his weekly radio appearance earlier Wednesday, Mariota said the hit left his whole right side “numb and tingly.”
Mariota also called it unfortunate because nerves take time to recover.
The quarterback spent practice receiving treatment, and he told reporters after practice that he is optimistic about playing for at worst the AFC’s second wild-card berth. A loss by Houston (10-5) earlier Sunday would put the AFC South title on the line for the Colts and Titans, both 9-6.
“This is for everything, so there’s no timetable,” Mariota said of his recovery. “If I can go, and it’s Sunday at 5 o’clock by all means. We’re just again taking it one day at a time. I’m going to do my best to be available.”
The Titans signed Austin Davis on Monday, bringing back a quarterback who was the roster in September when Mariota missed back-to-back starts. Blaine Gabbert stayed on the field after practice getting in some extra work. Gabbert has come off the bench three times season for the Titans and started twice. Gabbert became the first backup quarterback to win when Mariota left a game injured with the Titans losing the first six such games.
Gabbert threw the game-winning touchdown with 4:30 left against Washington, and he finished with a 123.7 passer rating. He has thrown for 461 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions while being sacked five times this season.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said they hope Mariota can practice Thursday and see how the quarterback feels after a day of treatment and rest.
“So we’ll see where that goes and try to work him back in,” Vrabel said.
Both the Colts and Titans will know exactly what’s at stake when they kick off, and the winner also could play for the No. 2 seed in the AFC if Houston, New England and Baltimore all lose.
Mariota has played at less than fully healthy. He started a game against the Colts last season with an injured hamstring and threw for 306 yards to snap an 11-game skid to Indianapolis. He came off the bench Sept. 23 when Gabbert suffered a concussion and led the Titans to a victory when he didn’t throw a pass longer than 22 yards.
“I just want to make sure we can have our best option to win,” Mariota said. “I’m going to do everything in my power to be available so that when it’s all said and done if I’m able to be out there I’m giving it my all. All I want is this team to win. However I can do that, however I can help I’m going to find a way to do that.”
Notes: LB Brian Orakpo (elbow) also did not practice. He has missed the last two games. WR Tajae Sharpe (ankle) was limited, but LB Sharif Finch (left shoulder) practiced fully after missing one game.
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